I now have direction in life and know I can move forward

Ali Smith Ali Smith

Here Scott, an army veteran, tells a very candid story about struggling to move on in his life, putting trust in others and finding new ways to make positive changes.

‘My marriage broke up in September 2017 and I had to move into my parents’ house, as I had nowhere to live. I looked at renting and Soldiers off the Street and SSAFA helped with the cost of moving. However, transition to a new home was difficult and I felt suicidal, so looked for help from my GP. I felt so out of my depth, but Housing Options Scotland helped and referred me to TimeBank’s Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine project to help with my anxieties.

I met with Ali a few times and she gave me hope. She explained that a volunteer mentor could help me set goals to make positive life changes. I finally felt that I could be supported by an organisation that cared and listened to my needs.

Ali matched me with mentor Susan and we got on brilliantly straight away. She has helped me in so many ways, I have a new sense of self belief, confidence in my personal life and I am keen to take part in new courses and activities. Susan has even helped me with budgeting and making the most of my low income.

Trust is really difficult for me, however, I’ve known Susan for seven months now, meeting once every fortnight and she has gone above and beyond what I think a mentor’s role is, so much so that she feels more like a sister to me. This is the type of friendship that I longed for. Susan has more than earned my trust by being there. I now have more self-worth and I know there is so much more to life than being lonely and isolated. 

My family have noticed a change in me for the better, I’m a lot happier more of the time, I care more about my appearance and I have pride in myself. I know that Susan is at the end of the phone if I need to chat – and that is priceless. She has a genuine interest in what I have to say. I now have direction in life and know I can move forward. I am now able to form new relationships, I’m saving for a holiday and looking into voluntary work. Without the support of the Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine project I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I strongly recommend this project to other veterans who are looking to move on.’

If you would like to find out more about Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine and how we can help, take a look here. You can call Ali on 07437 437 867 or email [email protected]

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