Veteran Malcolm hadn’t left his house for over three years. He told us how his Dad bought him a dog so he would have to go outside for walks.
Malcolm really lacked confidence, particularly with new people and new situations and had little aspirations for the future. It was whilst he was on a dog walk that someone told him about a Veterans support service; Veterans First Point (V1P).
He was extremely resistant to go at first but after about four months he went along, and immediately felt like he belonged somewhere.
In July 2017, Malcolm’s clinician at V1P advised him to consider volunteering as part of his recovery and he was referred to Sophie from Step Together.
Through one-to-one sessions, Sophie and Malcolm explored what his interests are and how volunteering could help.
Malcolm took part in an archaeological dig for two weeks with Breaking Ground Heritage. The dig was a huge step for Malcolm, but he pushed himself to overcome his initial fears and he became a strong member of the team.
This experience proved to be a catalyst to look at more volunteering opportunities. After changing his mind about another role he had applied for, Sophie continued to support Malcolm to find another opportunity that would be more suitable.
During this time, Malcolm made the big decision to stop drinking. This was a transformative change for Malcolm and he became even more engaged and committed to volunteering.
It was at this point that Sophie really saw a significant change in Malcolm. He began talking much more positively about his future and was more confident and enthusiastic.
He started volunteering every week at a local foodbank and also jumped at the opportunity to do a taster day at Ross Dhu Equestrian Centre, where he rekindled his love of horses.
“I couldn't have got this far without Sophie’s support and being able to be open and honest and not judged is such a positive feeling. The fact that Sophie didn’t wash her hands of me after I changed my mind about one of the opportunities just shows that Step Together is really there to support you through everything. It has been a fantastic experience.”
Malcolm is now talking about getting back into employment and is looking at courses online to continue rediscovering his skills.
“Because of Step Together, I have met new people, I have more motivation and I have even started looking for a job!”