Meet Sammie

You may have read one of our recent journal entries ‘Women of Wigan’. That came about as we decided to put some questions to local women during our International Womens Day Celebrations.

Well, Sammie agreed to go deeper and together we’ve explored some generative journalism questions.

Sammie is one of the founding directors of The Happy Place CiC and lives in the local community. 

Can you give a brief overview of what you do? 

I run Wellbeing art workshops that focus on mental health under The Happy Place CIC of which I am a Director. I also volunteer for Feel Good Feminist Fight-club, who run empowerment events for women & Non Binary people. My whole career is dedicated to creating accessible community spaces where people are free to express themselves creatively. 

What are you working on that excites you most

I’m super excited at the minute about Feel Good Feminist Fight-club and what we are trying to achieve. We have hopes of an expansion soon, which would be giving a whole other community the chance to experience what we do. The Happy Place CIC have also been given a multitude of opportunities in Wigan, one being the space in Rebuild With Hope. We have so many ideas for this space and would love to know what the community wants to see.

Why is this important to you

Because I want to help people feel happy again. We all have internal struggles, and the world isn’t a nice place to be right now, so everyone is down about themselves or their situations. I’ve been there. In fact, I spent 24 years of my life living in survival mode. But what this last two years has taught me is that if I were to have given up all of the times I wanted to, I wouldn’t be achieving what I am now. I wouldn’t have ever felt this feeling of pure happiness. 

What has helped this to happen? 

My family and friends really stepped up for me when I was at my lowest, and I want to thank them for that. But I had to put a lot of work in myself in order to get better. I completed trauma therapy and EMDR therapy and I accepted my diagnosis.

What happened that enabled you to do this? 

I actually started as a volunteer, so being in a position now which holds so much responsibility is quite daunting. But also very exciting. It’s liberating to know I can do this. 

What were the conditions that enabled you to step into this space

The women at Northern Heart and Soul have been a huge supporter of me and my work. Along with Springfield Beech Hill & Gidlow CommUnity, & CommUnity Corner. So their support almost gave me the kick up the bum I needed to say “here I am, I’m me, I’m talented, and I want to be recognised for that.”

What are you enjoying most about this journey so far? 

I’m really enjoying the people I’m meeting so far. There’s a whole network of people in Wigan who want to support each other and who want to see you succeed. You just have to find your tribe. 

What would you like to experience as you go about this work? 

I’d love to be more aware of mental health in general. I know a lot from my own experiences but I’d still like to know more. There’s still a lot to learn. 

When you look forward, what is the best thing that could happen? 

That we reach every person who is struggling to get through the day. 

What are your next steps in that direction? 

Offering more workshops to provide a range of activities,that are inclusive to everyone.

What is the courage needed for that to happen? 

I probably need to get better at speaking in public. But I have the motivation to push myself to achieve this goal.

What would you like, want or need from the community to make your next steps as wonderfully successful as they possibly could be? 

Just be open minded. We need to start to try understand one another. By doing this we can create a community of people who stand up for what is right. And support eac hother wholeheartedly.

In what ways, if any have you been changed by your experience with this so far? 

I have really started to understand our members needs and know that there’s a lot more people out there who need this support too.

What’s next? 

Hopefully the world.

What if any, meaning was made for you through the course of our conversation? 

I’m honoured to be recognised as someone who is trying to change the community for the better. and I won’t stop doing that until we’ve reached our goal. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.


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