• Steph Stephens, SJC Community Worker

Light at the end of the tunnel

About 6 months ago, Tony (not his real name) came into St John’s Care looking for someone to talk to and to get some food and started talking to one of our amazing volunteers.

He told her his story about how he had managed to hold down a job despite significant mental health issues, but one day it all became too much for him and he lost his job.

Tony shared with the volunteer that he couldn’t get out of bed and found himself turning to drugs to help him get through the day. After a couple of months he said he was addicted to drugs and needed them every day to cope with life.

Tony began to get deeper and deeper into debt and had no motive to stop. By the time he turned up at SJC he was, in his words, in a complete state. The volunteer listened to him and asked me to speak with him.

We managed to get Tony to come into SJC once a week for a chat, arranged for him to see his GP and get a Mental Health Care Plan. Once Tony started seeing his psychologist he brightened up and began to find a motive to live.

Tony didn’t take much food when he visited SJC as he always said that there were people worse off than him who needed it more. He took fruit and vegetables as part of the healthy eating plan he had been given by his GP. We also helped him with his prescriptions.

After a few months Tony stopped coming into the Centre and the volunteer asked me if he was ok. We found out that Tony had had a relapse and was back in hospital. We were both saddened by this news and called him to find out how he was going. Tony wasn’t in a good place mentally but promised to come back in once he was back on his feet.

A couple of weeks after the phone call, Tony came back into the Centre and had a long chat with us. We made a plan for him that included a re-writing of his resume and an application for a job.

Every week Tony has continued to return to SJC to chat with the staff and volunteers and occasionally take some food.

Last week I got an email from Tony saying that he had been offered a really good job and he was very happy.

He said that SJC had helped him on his journey towards a better and more fulfilling life. He has been sober now for 2 months and intends to keep moving forward.

Steph Stephens

SJC Community Worker

Items Required: Tinned fruit, 424g tinned tuna, 357ml or 500ml olive oil.

#volunteer #client

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