This weekend we held our much anticipated and long awaited Peer Support Programme Ambassador training. For me, it was a weekend that delivered in so many ways….but what I got out of it most ended up being quite unexpected.
The PSP programme was always part of our plan, from the very day the idea for Pink Elephants was created. As a result, we spent several months preparing for it, wanting it to be perfect. Our Bereavement Counsellor Terry Diamond wrote the programme and presented it over the weekend, along with her good friend, mentor and fellow counsellor, Marybeth Zang.
We had originally planned to have a group of 10-12 women participate in the training. Due to some calendar clashes and technological glitches we ended up with a much smaller group of 6. We even considered postponing the training! Yet as it happens, this smaller group was the perfect number of participants…and we never could have foreseen the unbreakable bond that was formed between them over the course of a day and a half.
The weekend began with the sharing of our own stories of miscarriage and pregnancy loss. There’s nothing like the pouring out of one’s heart to break down any feelings of shyness or nerves! It was of course sad, but mostly just so beautiful to be able to share our most heartfelt feelings and emotions, surrounded with understanding, empathy and love and a mutual knowing.
We spent time learning about all aspects of supporting others in our new roles as PSP Ambassadors – Miscarriage Basics, Grief Theory, Counselling Skills, Boundaries and Marking a Loss. It was a lot to take in, but there was also an overwhelming urge to learn and grow to enable us to be the best supporters we can be to the many women who need it.
Perhaps the most challenging parts of the training were the role playing exercises. It gave us a real insight into the importance of what we are going to be doing and the gravity of what we are undertaking. In some ways it was probably harder than we’d thought it would be, and it was also triggering in some instances. But at the end of the day that’s why we were there. Because we know, we understand, we feel, we hear, we get it.
For me personally, this weekend was a reaffirmation of all the reasons that I initially wanted to create a support network like Pink Elephants. When trying to grow a business – even a charity – you can tend to get a little lost in things that seem important but are actually distracting you from the heart of your cause, and the passion in your own heart. This weekend brought me back to my ‘why’ and I am so grateful for that. I was exactly where I needed to be and doing exactly what I needed to be doing. My why, our why, has always been about supporting women. Making sure that no woman feels alone in her grief.
Overall the weekend was healing, empowering, energising and exciting. The emotional side of things was outweighed by the knowledge that we are going to be making a difference to so many. But mostly, this weekend a beautiful bond was formed by a group of women all ultimately brought together by shared experience and heartache, yet also knowing that our losses are what has given us this amazing opportunity to fill the big void that currently exists in the support of women suffering miscarriage.
I can’t wait to introduce our new Peer Support Team to you all, and I can’t wait to start supporting the many women who need us! Here’s a sneak peak below 🙂