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Case studies

Aidrian Novion - Common Wheel

“Our vision is for everyone with mental ill health living in the city to live a meaningful and satisfying life.”

Common Wheel is a mental health organisation based in Glasgow.

Common Wheel works with people who are referred by their mental health care workers. Due to their condition, this client group are generally unable to work when they join Common Wheel. Common Wheel provides a supportive environment where people can start to take part in activities that they enjoy. People are given the opportunity to learn new skills, work alongside others, develop their confidence and re-connect with their community.

There are two activities offered by Common Wheel: bike re-conditioning and music workshops. The bike project supports adults with a mental illness in repairing and recycling old bikes into ‘good as new’ bikes for the clients to ride away and keep. This project aids recovery through supporting people in establishing a weekly routine, reducing isolation, gaining confidence and developing many other life skills.The music project promotes recovery through singing, playing and listening to music. Participants report improvements in self-esteem, self-confidence and social experience.

Aidrian Novion joined the Common Wheel music project two years ago. At the time he was looking to get involved in something musical.

“There were many projects out there and I was involved in so much but couldn’t find the ri ght thing for me. I was happy to find Common Wheel – a music project doing something I really enjoy”.

At Common Wheel he joined one of our music workshops and started to play, learn and listen to a range of music styles. Aidrian experimented with percussion instruments, drumming and Gamelan music (Indonesian percussion instruments).

“I learnt so much at Common Wheel. I learnt to understand rhythms, how music works and how notes complement each other.”

Aidrian had experienced depression and anxiety related problems before joining Common Wheel.

“I had been very shy and generally felt awkward talking to people on a general basis. When I joined Common Wheel, I started to enjoy chatting more and became more relaxed over time since the members of staff were caring and welcoming, but also being respected and able to share similar interests with the other participants, a thing that in other places I did not experience”.

Two years later and Aidrian has just started an NC course in sound production at Glasgow Kelvin College City Campus. This is a one year course and Aidrian is currently applying to extend this to HND level next year. Longer term plans include completing a university degree and eventually working in TV production.

“I’m actually quite interested in a career in film-making, I like using video to convey ideas”.

Aidrian has progressed hugely over the past two years; the shy newcomer to the Common Wheel group is now seeking a career in television and is very much on the path to fulfil his dreams.