Rebuilding your life can be a hard challenge to face and finding the right solution can be a difficult step. TCV recognises that each community and the people living there have different needs through volunteering TCV have helped people from across the UK in making a positive step for a healthier and happier future. Whether it’s improving their wellbeing, conserving a well-loved outdoor space or bringing people together to promote social cohesion, combat loneliness or enhance employment prospects, TCV works together with people and communities to deliver solutions to the real-life challenges they face.
This is Grant’s story which he wanted to share to encourage others in taking that first step. Grant was experiencing depression and anxiety using alcohol as a coping mechanism, then he found himself making plans to end his life.
With tears strolling down my face, in the same clothes that I had been wearing for more days than I could remember, I was alone lying on the sofa surrounded by unwashed clothes, empty bottles, half eaten pizzas, and the blinds drawn. I hear a loud drilling…and then the door falls open and there’s my dad.
My dad rescued me, I moved into his house with my step-mum and step-sis , “here I am, just turned 30 and back living with my folks, you failure” but I’m not a failure and I’m not a coward, I know this now.
Great…anxiety and depression, how did I fall into this socially typical umbrella of today? I was born in the 80’s grew up in the 90’s, I know I’m better than this. But it’s not about being better, it’s about dealing with it. I’m not that different to a lot of adults my age, in fact the more people I talk to, the more I realise my story isn’t different. It’s the norm to a lot of people out there “it’s not just me”.
As time went on my social worker suggested a walking group that went out every Thursday, Wild Ways Well. “Nothing to lose I thought, I’d been doing well”. So, I went and met Paul and Claire from The Conservation Volunteers, I was dreading it. I barely spoke a word, but I began to realise that nature was helping.
I loved the peace and tranquillity it gave me, and I realised that Cumbernauld is so much more than a housing estate and a town centre. I began going out myself looking for signs of nature, finding deer beds, badger setts, squirrel feeding stations, animal trails, even bugs in deadwood! Gradually I wanted to do more. Natures was helping me, maybe I should try to return the favour? So, I asked Paul if they needed any help with the volunteer groups, to which the reply was “ever heard of a Volunteer Officer….?”
As I sit here writing my story, it’s quite tough looking back.
But what’s important is that I am coming to TCV 3-4 days a week and learning more about nature than I ever imagined. I mean if someone told me last year that I would be getting excited about pine marten scat I would have laughed at them!
My work with TCV as a Volunteer Officer has helped me get back into life, a normal sleeping pattern, something to get up for, people to talk to, eating on a regular basis, things that I haven’t been able to do for a few years.