What's it like at Start? User stories: Reflecting on progress
"The diaries make my Start placement coherent"
People who come to Start fill in diary sheets at the end of each session, spending 5-10 minutes reflecting on what they have done during the sessions. The intention of the diary sheets is to make the wellbeing themes of sessions transparent and to encourage users to acknowledge their progress, whether big or small, each time they attend.
Mark felt sceptical at first about the usefulness of the diary sheets.
'I didn't really mind doing them, but I thought they were a bit pointless. I thought that anything I put down would be of no value, I didn't think I had any opinions that counted.
'But then after a few months, I began to see the reason for them. They really make you see how you're doing. They're a link between one project, or group, and another, they're the consistent note throughout your time in the service. They help you make sense of it all, what it's all about. They make you stop and think. You have to reflect on what you've learned. Even small things are ok to put down. Your opinions are important, what you put matters. The diary is yours, there isn't a right and wrong. It's made me more confident in myself and my opinions.'
Help in wider areas of life
Mark feels that what he's learning is transferable to other areas of his life too.
'It's given me a good habit of reflecting and thinking. I do this in other areas of my life now. I can see how what I learn at Start relates to other areas of my life too.
'I love the art, I like making things, but it's the diaries that have made the art count in my life.'