We asked our resident Musical Director & Computer Whizzkid Paul Bowen a few questions on his personal development, and how he came to work with Future.
How did you become involved with Future Health & Social Care?
‘I initially came to Future as a service user. Due to a traumatic time at Secondary School, my self esteem was very low and I was often having flashbacks of terrible events, and I was finding it hard to cope day to day. I was unemployed and really stuck in a rut.
During one of my sessions with my support worker, Ian Smith, I visited a local music shop where I had previously worked part-time as a teacher. He took a video of me playing one of the keyboards and showed it to his colleague Gary Moore, whose reaction was one of excitement and shock, “He’s so talented! We’ve got to get him down here!” I then started volunteering, running a couple of music sessions a week at Cecil Street, our then-daycentre, and having a little project really helped me. I had a routine now, rather than an endless cycle of sitting at home’.
‘The volunteer position blossomed into a part-time paid post. I started doing other work besides the music classes, website design, leaflets and posters, newsletters, I even designed the shop front sign for our Artwork Gallery & Café! Later on I started running a computer class for Woodview, teaching some of the residents how to browse the internet or type a letter’.
What do you enjoy about working with Future Health & Social Care?
‘I could say that it’s the variety that the job brings, from musical projects to leaflets and flyers, from web design to computer tuition, there’s plenty there to get my teeth into creatively. However, I reckon that the real reason I enjoy the job so much, is the people! I have a very supportive and close-knit team behind me who understand my work needs and are always there for a chat. Also, i meet a massive variety of people through our projects, of all ages, cultures and walks of life. It keeps things exciting as you never know who you’ll meet next’.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
‘Well, music is my big passion. As well, as running a successful local band, i spend alot of time producing and composing original music. I’ve also started a popular series of videos on Youtube which demonstrate classic Synthesizers in a novel and fun way. One of which can be viewed below:
How is your mental health these days?
‘It’s been a long tough battle, but i’m starting to improve in my mental health. I’ve been visiting a therapist and using techniques such as EMDR (which clears away past traumas) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to get into a better place. I’ve been developing positive thinking strategies and have started to train myself to be more aware when thinking negatively, then attempting to turn those thoughts around. Some days are better than others, but I’m finally starting to cope. Some resources for people suffering from trauma or low self esteem are included on this page’.