Noel was in a good job, earning decent money in car sales. Yet the reality was, he felt unfulfilled in his career and a general feeling of emptiness had set in. When negative feelings began to dominate, Noel hit a brick wall and cut himself off from others.
To numb these feelings, Noel would seek solace in a can of beer. His mental health worsened and he found himself in London without a job or a home, sleeping under cars or hidden in garden squares, often not sleeping at all:
“Imagine not sleeping, having nowhere to go… Then having no money… You need to keep on your feet to try and be warm, then when it comes to sleep your mind is ticking over so, so much, the anxiety means you’re unable to sleep anyway”.
Noel received a message from his mum – his grandfather had died and he needed to come home for the funeral. When Noel’s mother saw him in such a bad way, she asked him to stay at home in Warwickshire. But suddenly, after he moved back his mother also died. A strained relationship with his father meant Noel had to leave his parents’ house, instead sleeping in a friend’s van when he could.
“I came to a point where I thought ‘now, there’s no car to sleep in… You’re not able to sleep in the park, you are not able to find somewhere warm because it’s getting too cold. So I went online and started searching for help.”
Noel found an organisation called P3 – a charity supporting socially excluded and vulnerable adults. He walked in and spent two hours talking to a support worker:
“They were just waiting there… Just helping people out… We just talked about what’s gone on, why I’ve got to this stage. Things they could do to help me to move forward”.
The P3 team supported Noel to find accommodation, and within a few days his support worker Helen secured a £350 grant from the Vicar’s Relief Fund for the deposit. Now settled in his new home and with a new job, Noel can begin his life again.
“…Providing a base for somebody can make an awful lot of changes for anyone. Whether they want to get a job, whether they want to stop their addiction. Whether they’re thinking about having a family going forward. It’s the START of something.”