Becoming a part of the team

When I first started at Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership, apart from the tongue twister of the actual name which most people find difficult, people always asked me what it is we actually do. For the most part, I still find it difficult to explain to people. I usually start with ‘have you ever heard of Restorative Justice?’ and when most people say no, which they normally do, I’m at a loss.

It’s difficult to encompass everything that Restorative Approaches is truly about. It is more a way of being rather than something you do. Being restorative is not always easy to do, but being aware of the needs of others is something that you can learn to be mindful of. A lot of what being restorative is about, is something that most people believe as common sense, which in the most part it is. But it is how we approach this in our everyday life, which is something that we don’t always do. It is easy to know that you should be kind, honest, open, inclusive, co-operative, trusting, supportive etc. but it is an entirely different thing to be this way when difficult situations arise.

Whilst working at Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership, I appreciate the inclusive, open, honest and co-operative nature of the company I work with. Coming from a background in retail, where you are very rarely appreciated, often taken for granted and expected to work above and beyond for very little payoff, it has been eye opening to the understanding and sometimes challenging but supportive workplace of WRAP.

I started as a volunteer in July 2015, where I was given the opportunity to develop my administration skills one day a week. At this time, I was also working as a full time manager in retail. It didn’t feel like I was working six days a week because it was a joy to come into the office for that one day. The contrast in the working environment was substantial, which made me realise that I wanted to leave retail and work with Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership. In March 2017, I started working full time and it has been one of the best decisions I made. This position has let me develop my skills further, work in an encouraging and nurturing work environment and above all else, work with some truly lovely and talented people.