A bride who had her life turned around thanks to counselling after anxiety threatened to ruin her career, has donated her wedding gift fund of more than £1,600 to help others battling for better mental health.
Christine Bill [nee Diesel], 26, asked her wedding guests to dig deep and make a donation towards workplace wellbeing social enterprise RCS Wales instead of buying her and now husband, Huw Bill, 29, a wedding gift.
The couple wanted to say a huge thank you to the organisation after counselling helped her overcome severe anxiety which struck after she started her first job as a vet.
Christine, from Ruthin, was referred to RCS Wales by her GP for support last year as she was struggling to cope, suffering self-doubt and low confidence which left her feeling “scared and hopeless”.
The couple who have recently returned from honeymoon in Pembrokeshire say they were overwhelmed by the £1667.24 raised and now they are delighted the money will go to help others starting out on their career ladder.
Chrissie, a vet at Wern veterinary practise in Ruthin, said: “I’m so happy that so many people chose to donate to RCS. Some people who donated had struggled as well, or knew someone who had struggled.
“A lot of people had seen me go through my struggles and they knew that RCS had helped me so much and they had seen the difference in me.
“Before I found RCS I felt scared and hopeless. Now I feel I can function normally again. I can hold down my job and personal relationships, and not constantly beat myself up about everything.
“I was putting too much pressure on myself. Everyone has an element of it in their life. It’s great to normalise it and to know that you can go and get help.
“It’s almost too good to be true that RCS Wales exists. I know people in other parts of the country who are struggling and they don’t have access to a service like this.
“I feel like I’m the lucky one because I was able to access the support, but it shouldn’t be too good to be true, it should be something everyone can access.
“I still have counselling at RCS. I only need to go every couple of months now and last time I only needed 15 minutes, whereas at the beginning I needed hours to get everything out. That’s what I call progress.
“I just wanted to give back I think everyone if they are helped should give back even if it’s not raising money it could be passing on the information about the service and telling more people about it.”
RCS Wales is a not-for profit social enterprise that helps people enter, sustain and progress in employment through improving health and wellbeing and employability, which can include support for low mood, anxiety, depression, or a physical condition which is causing pain or affecting mobility.
With its headquarters in West Rhyl and another base in Bangor, RCS operates across Conwy, Denbighshire, Anglesey and Gwynedd.
Ali Thomas, Operational Director of RCS said the money raised by Chrissy will be used to support other young people starting out on the career ladder.
She said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Chrissy, it’s wonderful to hear about the difference the service has made to her life.
“Her wedding gift fundraiser was an incredible gesture and we will put the donation to good use supporting more people in a similar position to Chrissy.
“We want to make sure this offers a real legacy for Chrissy so in particular we want to use her donation to reach out to people who are just starting out in their careers.
“This might mean help with the practical issues to do with starting work for the first time, or addressing any concerns they may have about their performance – which can be a real issue for people when they are first starting out in a new role.”
Chrissie added: “The wedding was amazing. It was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
“Everyone keeps asking if I’ve got the post-wedding blues but I haven’t, I just can’t wait for the next chapter.
“The counselling has put me in a position to look at everything positively.
“I’m so pleased that the money we have raised will be put to such good use at RCS. It’s my big thank you.”
People can refer themselves to RCS, by calling 01745 336442 or visit rcs-wales.co.uk