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A beacon of hope: the impact of relatable queer workers at Candella 

In the midst of adversity, Phoenix found a guiding light in the form of KC a queer Wellbeing Facilitator at Candella. His journey reflects the profound significance of having relatable support during times of struggle, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Before encountering KC, Phoenix had navigated through a maze of challenges, from homelessness to mental and physical illness, compounded by the isolation of the pandemic. His prior experiences with cisgender heterosexual workers, while positive, still left a void in understanding and validation of their queer identity. 

KC’s arrival marked a pivotal moment. As Phoenix recounts, “having KC support and advocate for me was a necessary part of my healing process.” KC’s openness about their own identity provided Phoenix with a sense of visibility and acceptance they had long yearned for. 

The presence of a queer role model became a beacon of hope for Phoenix, sparking a belief in his own worth and potential. “KC being the strong, uplifting, virtuous, and queer role model in my life was more than inspiring, making me believe I wasn’t completely hopeless” he shared. 

Throughout his journey, KC offered not just support, but also constructive criticism delivered with compassion and understanding. Phoenix recalls, “KC gave me constructive, concise criticism I needed to hear… with a lot of effort on understanding and emphasis on compassion.” 

The impact of KC’s support extended beyond just practical assistance; it became a catalyst for personal growth and empowerment. Phoenix’s aspirations to use his experiences to inspire and support at-risk youth highlight the ripple effect of compassionate mentorship and support. 

Phoenix acknowledges the challenges he presented as a client and the unwavering support he received in return. “I never felt as if I was judged by KC,” he says, which highlights the importance of non-judgmental guidance in the recovery process. 

Phoenix’s story demonstrates the transformative power of relatable support within marginalised communities. Through KC’s advocacy and mentorship, he found not only validation but also the courage to navigate his own healing journey. 

In the evolving landscape of social support, stories like Phoenix’s remind us of the need for diversity and representation among support workers. As he continues to apply the lessons learned from KC, Phoenix serves as a testament to the enduring impact of compassionate mentorship in building resilience and empowerment within marginalised communities. 

We are all so proud to watch you grow and flourish Phoenix!!

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