“I was in the Welsh Guards for 8 years. In that time I did 2 tours of Afghanistan. In 2014 my mental health was getting worse; I was drinking everyday to try and block out what I was going through. I attempted to take my own life and was in and out of mental health units. Whilst in Glan Clwyd hospital my Mum came across a Change Step leaflet and met Vrinty, and this is where my support started. My Mum was also finding things really difficult seeing me the way I was, and so she began receiving support from Lisa.
“From listening in we were both getting the support that we weren’t getting from anywhere else. Vrinty would do regular visits with me whilst I continued to be in and out of hospitals, and Lisa was there for my Mum.
“In 2016 my mental health was still not improving, and so Vrinty and Lisa signed me up for Cyfle Cymru and helped me to move in to supported housing for veterans. They also put me on the Day Programme run by CAIS to support my drinking. In November 2016 I was admitted back in to hospital and from there went to a mental health rehab unit for 6 months. With support from staff at the unit and weekly visits from Vrinty and Lisa things were slowly getting better.
“When I was discharged from the unit, Vrinty arranged for me to start some volunteering at Troop Cafe, which I still do now and really enjoy it, and my confidence continues to grow. They then arranged for me to help them both in the office with Cyfle Cymru and I’m now a volunteer Peer Mentor; a role which I’m really enjoying.
“Although I know my mental health condition will never go away, it really helps to keep busy. I have just reached the 1 year anniversary since I had a drink. Without the support I’ve had from CAIS, mainly Vrinty and Lisa, I couldn’t imagine where I would be now.”
Interested in volunteering with Cyfle Cymru?
You are eligible to volunteer with us if you towards and into work if you:
- 16 or older
- not in education
- not in training
- not in employment
See here for information for how to get in touch.
Cyfle Cymru is delivered by members of the DACW Consortium.
Cyfle Cymru is part of the Welsh Government’s Out of Work Service, supported by the European Social Fund.