My name is Charlie and I’m 47 years old. This is my story.
I had been in care homes and numerous foster parents from the age of six. Once I left school, aged fifteen I worked with racehorses until aged thirty three, after which I started work in medical veterinary research with a wide range of species. Having a good skillset and being quite articulate I never thought I’d be left struggling to find work, but in 2012 I suffered a mental breakdown.
This was a result of extreme pressure and bullying from a work colleagues (that really hurt). Sadly around the same time, David my landlord/friend of five years and my half-brother’s mother had also passed away. As always, like in the past I hadn’t given myself time, or taken any steps for counselling so I could recover properly. The result was that my relationship suffered and broke down.
I didn’t know what to do so I was taking on any kind of work with accommodation, wherever I could find it which led me being placed at Polegate. Fundraising for a well-known charity, that opportunity didn’t work out so well I found myself homeless and unemployed in the beginning of June last year. Sleeping rough I was feeling suicidal, alone, vulnerable, and scared. After a few weeks sleeping under the pier, the rough sleepers team found me and I was directed towards First Base.
Within a couple of days I had seen a GP and had Sussex partnership mental health team supporting me, and within a month I was off the streets and placed in emergency hostel accommodation. Once I started feeling improvement in myself I was referred towards Southdown Housing Recovery College. I’ve been getting a lot of support from my key worker and social worker, and have attended a couple of courses aimed at my recovery needs.
Recently I moved into Seacrest which has given me some independence and I’ve signed onto a college course and things are going in the right direction at last. Without all the help and support from my brother Scott, Best friend Richard, BHT and all the other services available, I don’t think I would have recovered properly. I am now looking forward in anticipation at starting work again in the near future.