This laptop has been at my side since 2015 when I started working for Manchester Mind. Most of all I connect it with Harpurhey where I started to build one of our first Peer Support groups. It reminds me of the office, where I moved from one desk to the next as it was always busy, and it reminds me of the chats with all the people temporarily based in that office. I can still see myself sitting with my volunteers before and after the group sessions or when a member would come to me for support when in crisis.
With this laptop I showed my group the photos of the Peerfest 2016, where a volunteer and a group member gave a presentation in London and we were all so proud of them. Nevertheless, like with all things this laptop also symbolised the many, different, and difficult challenges I found in Harpurhey. For example, the laptop’s speed, its constant struggle to start up or shut down, mirrors the difficulties of finding a foothold in Harpurhey and to get our projects running. It was difficult and not everything worked out, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I feel we did make a difference, it may have taken time, and may have been a bumpy ride, but this laptop is still at my side today.