Chellie came to Fallen Angels after a fall at work meant that she retired early due to ill-health. In recovery Chellie reached out to her friends in the community who encouraged her to attend Fallen Angels. Chellie used to work as an engagement worker for the NHS and used to bring service users to Fallen Angels and participate in the sessions to encourage them to engage with the organisation. She is registered blind, and the fall meant that she had lost confidence going out and about on her own, therefore coming to a dance session was very much a leap of faith.
She quickly bonded with the group whom she knew from recovery circles, and her sense of humour meant she was the life and soul of the group and its activity. Reconnecting with her community and friends gave her safe space to test her boundaries in the studio. She developed both her physical skills and coordination, and this had a knock-on effect on her sense of identity and everyday ability to navigate journeying through life registered blind.
At Fallen Angels her enthusiasm to learn and be creative led her to take part in the artistic development time with actors on the Faustus production, in fact she benefited from free tickets, and also went to see it independently, as it had such a profound impact on her.
During this year Chellie became a Supporting Angel, and the team supported her to complete her Level Two Mentoring qualification.
Chellie along with a few of the other Supporting Angels participated in the Faustus early workshops, supporting the improvisation and creative process. Chellie attended a week of intensive workshops with the cast, director, and professional dancers. Having the opportunity to attend this type of creative experience was invaluable for Chellie. Participating and actively contributing to a creative process, getting a glimpse behind the scenes in a production process, Chellie reflects back on this time and describes it as a “remarkable and unique” experience.
In March 2023, Chellie was asked by Fallen Angels to be a guest speaker at a Recovery Social event that took place at Storyhouse. Chellie felt privileged to be invited to support her local recovery community. Chellie spoke about her personal recovery journey and ways in which she collaborated with other recovery agencies. Chellie relishes the opportunity to participate in this type of evening again in the future. On reflection, Chellie would like to have the opportunity again and has learned a great deal about herself during the experience. Chellie does not let her visual impairment and fractured skull hold her back. Chellie prides herself on supporting others to be comfortable in their own skin, learning to love themselves. Chellie adores being a Supporting Angel and welcomes new opportunities and challenges with the charity.
Photo: Point of View Photography.