‘Andy’ came to us in a desperate state and did not know who to turn to or what to do. A local man who had worked for most of his adult life but in poorly paid areas of work lost his job, through no fault of his own. With the loss of his employment, his landlord signalled that he would not be happy having somebody on benefits in his property, so now unemployed and homeless. His initial assessment visit made it apparent that already severe problems could be made worse without help and a possible spiral into mental health issues was highly likely.
We offered Andy accommodation; helped to sort out short-term benefits as he had never claimed Income Support in his life and set about building up his confidence through encouragement to help with voluntary activities and become fully involved in the communal events available within the Trust. We also helped with his CV and in an excellent example of joint working, Social Security got him a place on a work-scheme. His hard work; determination and obvious ability led to the offer of a permanent post once the scheme had come to an end
Andy remained with us until he had built up sufficient funds for a deposit on his own accommodation and left us to continue his life independently as a proud, contributive member of society in his own accommodation and working hard at a job he enjoys.
A man literally turned up at the door of Sanctuary House one day in January in desperate straits. He initially presented with a major gambling addiction and serious economic problems. Born in the UK, we had to prove his entitlement to benefits and his right to residency, which we were able to do, working with Social Security in an excellent example of beneficial joint working. The impact of gambling on his life was immense; loss of employment due to theft; breakdown of his relationship and a loss of contact with his daughter, combined with large and mounting debts. He presented as a fairly desperate person, anxious to seek help and knowing he had to turn his life around.
He immediately started to go to Gambler’s Anonymous meetings and got himself barred from book-maker’s shops. He then started to tackle his debt head-on, including negotiations with the Viscount’s Department, with our help. And whilst doing all this he became an active and willing volunteer – whether at church events, the weekly soup kitchen or for others in the house. He was praised widely for his attitude, commitment and generosity of spirit. In May he moved to Sanctuary Lodge and during this whole time he applied for jobs endlessly, attended interviews and doing the most he could do to find employment and coping with the setbacks and knock-downs along the way. He also re-established regular contact with his daughter and been able to ‘make peace’ with his estranged partner.
He has now moved into his own accommodation and found full-time and meaningful employment whilst also pursuing voluntary opportunities as a means of wishing to ‘give back’. We continue to offer outreach support to ensure the progress continues and we will be with him through till he no longer needs our help.
‘K’ was a very reluctant referral; a man not wanting or knowing how to express that he needed help or even how to open up. He was also an intensely proud man who had always paid his way in the world, worked hard and had a mature understanding of his role in and responsibilities to society. A long-term UK born Jersey resident, he was in his mid-late forties when he first sought help.
‘K’ was almost classically a victim of the economic downturn and with that one major problem came a raft of other issues that led him to crisis point. The loss of his job placed a strain on an already volatile relationship; that in turn led ‘K’ to start drinking heavily and with that came low-level mental health problems, depression and a heightened level of anxiety. When it all became too much, he was hospitalised and this is where Sanctuary Trust came in.
We first met ‘K’ whilst he was in hospital an the first task was to make him see that he deserved help and support and that there was nothing wrong or abnormal in how he was feeling or what he was going through. He took a place, reluctantly, at St. Aubin and so began the work of helping him regain strength, renew, heal and feel strong enough to face the world again. The heightened anxiety diminished and with that the level of support from external services also reduced. ‘K’ started to engage with us and the other men; willingly becoming involved in voluntary activities and actually started helping us with his practical skills – he had a life-time experience of the building trade. Whilst doing very practical voluntary work, a chance encounter led to some occasional and casual paid work. ‘K’ soon moved to our Beaumont property and from there things happened rapidly. He started working full-time and his energy, skill and obvious ability allowed him to pursue his own sub-contracting work.
After a year, ‘K’ left us but we maintained contact, until gradually he felt he no longer needed that support. He is now a highly successful and sought-after builder, with work literally stacked up, he has been able to offer work in varying degrees to other men living with Sanctuary and also finds time to help others in need with practical support or advice. He has recently been to see us and he is very clear in his message: Sanctuary Trust literally saved him and gave him the chance to enjoy the life he is now able to lead. Job done!
In and Out of Prison
A man in his early 30s with a history of petty crime and trouble with the police and a history of being in and out of prison and almost a ‘classic’ example of the stereotypical ‘broken’ home. This man came to Sanctuary House late in 2013, having slept rough or on friends’ couches etc.
Shortly after moving to Sanctuary House, his mother passed away further compounding existing issues in his life. Initially he was difficult to engage with or motivate and began to have issues in the house. A series of prolonged absences from the house, without prior agreement put his place in danger. In a superb case of joint working, with his Social Security employment advisor, we were able to get him on courses and motivated sufficiently to get a place, for a limited period, on a job scheme. This proved so successful he was given a position within TTS as cover for sick leave for six months, paid at ‘going rate’, and with the understanding that a permanent post may be available at the end of this period. Motivated and almost a changed man in terms of his outlook, he enjoyed the work and the camaraderie and clearly approaching life with a renewed assurance.
He moved to Sanctuary Lodge and although his contract came to an end, the experience of work and all that brings means he remained motivated to find permanent work and ultimately, his own accommodation.