In recognition of the outstanding support provided to those we serve and her significant contributions to the peer movement, Recovery Coordinator Audrey Hayward received the Peer Leadership Award at this year’s Cambridge/Somerville 6th Annual Award Banquet.
Since joining Vinfen in 2011, Audrey has strived to build and maintain trusting relationships with the people she serves in order to help them gain the confidence, skills, and resources they need to succeed in self-determined goals. Certified as a Peer Specialist and Wellness Recovery Action Plan facilitator, Audrey is able to offer guidance and support by drawing on her training and her own lived experience.
“We’re trained to very intentionally tell our story, and do it in a way to help inspire hope, to make people feel more of a connection and feel less alone in what they’re going through,” Audrey said.
Above all else, Audrey prides herself in her ability to foster good relationships with people.
“It’s people-work and paperwork,” said Audrey, “For me, transformation and recovery is about finding out what really makes someone happy, and why they want to be healthy.”
A lifelong mediator, Audrey’s innovative approach has set her apart in the field. To help improve Vinfen services, Audrey teamed up with her peers to create a workshop teaching staff tangible methods to help change their perception of our clients, and eliminate the natural biases that arise in the provider-client relationship. She also initiated groups in Cooking, Social Planning and Outings, and LGBTQ support at the Recovery Learning Center, where she strives to be a bridge between the center and the people she supports through outreach.
“Audrey imparts the concepts of hope and resiliency through recovery,” said Vinfen Director of Recovery Services Lisa Halpern, “She is a steadfast advocate for the [people we serve] with whom she works, and I always know that what she has to say will be very meaningful and insightful.”
Audrey’s continued initiative to improve peer services and engage the people she serves with their own recovery has been a tremendous asset to Vinfen and those we serve.
“It’s so fulfilling for me and so healing too, to identify with people and see them heal and recover and do better,” Audrey said. “The people that we support are so resilient; they’ve gone through so much. I come at it from their perspective, to treat people like people.”