Wednesday 26 July 2017

Spires service user story - Walk for Solidarity 2017

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As part of our on-going Walk for Solidarity 2017 fundraising campaign we have nominated two charities who will be beneficiaries of any funds raised.

One of which is Spires Day Centre in Streatham, south east London and over the coming weeks we will be sharing the stories and testimonies of their volunteers and service users to give more of an insight into the fantastic work they do in the local community.

“Steven” – Spires Day Centre service user

Steven came out of prison after serving seven years of a fourteen year sentence and originally did have his own flat in Crystal Palace, but he struggled on leaving prison, so rent arrears built up and he ended up losing his flat early in 2016.

He developed a good relationship with an elderly neighbour, who lived downstairs from him, and she said he could sleep in her garden shed.

He in turn started helping her by doing her shopping, cleaning and various other errands.

He felt happy and safe in the shed, and it felt like a home to him.

However, Steven has severe issues with his feet and most days it is extremely difficult for him to walk, causing extreme pain and he also suffers with anxiety.

We were able to support Steven in getting a referral to podiatry, as well as registering him with a GP so he could get medication for his mental health.

When he arrived at Spires, Steven was worried we would not help him as he had a criminal record but we will continue to support anyone who is in a state of need.

His key worker said of Steven: “he is a very open friendly gentleman who was very honest with me”, she reported that when speaking about his conviction and the circumstances that led to the crime, including heavy drug use, he looked really embarrassed, but was so happy that we were able to work with him.

Steven continued to live in the shed whilst he made an application for benefits and his key worker was able to attend appointments with him, and said he was always smiling even though we knew he was in a lot of pain.

He is now in receipt of his benefits, and has been housed with the London Housing Trust. He has finally been able to have the operation on one of his feet, as he is now living somewhere stable.

His recovery is going really well and he will be having the other foot operation soon.

Like many of our clients, Steven still continues to use Spires as he has built up a great relationship of trust with his key worker, and she says “It is a pleasure to work with him.”

*At the request of Spires, names have been changed*

To donate to our Walk for Solidarity 2017 campaign, please visit http://bit.ly/walksolidarity17 Thank you