The transition from Durham, North Carolina, to Durham, England, has been a relatively smooth process (with a few exceptions).
Regarding Waddington, this has been an eye-opening experience through the comparisons and contrasts of Threshold and American treatment of mental illnesses. Unlike Threshold, the Waddington Street Centre does not incorporate the clubhouse model. Furthermore, the staff members come from a variety of educational backgrounds ranging from banking to philosophy. At Threshold, virtually every staff member has an educational background in social work. Because of this, I found Waddington Street to not have a ubiquitous theme. Rather, there seems to be a new branch of the center every week. At Threshold, there was a theme of repetition and the end-goal of transitional employment; at Waddington Centre, the end goal was not employment but rather a transition back into a normal, enjoyable lifestyle.
When not working, we can be found exploring the United Kingdom or volunteering in the Durham community. Last Friday, our group volunteered at a soccer tournament, and I was chosen to be one of the referees during the tournament. This turned out to be more intense than I had anticipated, and I gained a newfound respect for not only the British dedication to football but refereeing as an art. By the end of the tournament, I felt I had missed every call, but all in all it was an enjoyable experience.
Lastly, on weekends, we can be found roaming the Northern United Kingdom. The most noteworthy trip so far has been Edinburgh, Scotland. The trek up Arthur’s Seat was a grueling but worthwhile time, and the nation of Scotland was that of pristine and history. The final two weeks are composed of finishing my time up at Waddington and one last trip to London, England. Cheers!