“Speke House has given me a place to call home. With their support, I’ve been able to be a dad again to my young son and have my life back.”
David joined the Royal Logistic Corps in 2013 as a Private, completing tours in Canada, the Falklands and Gibraltar.
He served for four years and left the military in 2016 to pursue a new career and started working as a coach driver, which he enjoyed very much. He had his own accommodation and became a father after meeting his then partner. He lived in his own flat and continued to work as a coach driver but, when his father passed, he said: “My head fell off and I struggled to cope”. He couldn’t keep up with his tenancy and became homeless.
After leaving the Armed Forces, his health began to deteriorate. He was diagnosed with mixed anxiety, depressive disorder, acute childhood trauma and agoraphobia. His diagnosis stemmed from the passing of his father in 2022.
David said: “My head was elsewhere and everything seemed a blur. I was referred to the home treatment team who suggested I stayed in drug and alcohol accommodation as a way of keeping off the streets and although I was on the streets, I didn’t drink or take drugs – I felt suicidal.”
Due to David’s lack of housing, paired with his mental health, the home treatment team referred him to a place in respite for 4 weeks however, during this time, he felt that they wanted to move him on and mentioned placing him in the YMCA which is why he contacted Veterans Gateway. The feeling of uncertainty of where he would be able to settle didn’t help with his recovery.
He was referred to Launchpad through Veterans Gateway after being placed in respite and living in accommodation which affected his mental health. Since moving into Speke House, the home treatment team hasn’t maintained contact with him, which left him without any external support. Luckily, he engaged with Launchpad and is working well with his specialist case worker and onsite therapist which has enabled him to thrive and now requires less support with his mental health.
He said: “From what I was to the person I am now, I’ve come a long way. I feel more settled and feel I’m able to take my son out without having a panic attack or the fear of one. I think more clearly now and look after myself by going to the gym and go on bike rides.
“If I hadn’t found Launchpad, I probably would have been forced to stay at the YMCA. If that happened, I probably would have ended up on drugs or found in the gutter. I also wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to have the close relationship I have with my son. Launchpad has saved me and built me up again.”
David would eventually like to get back into full-time employment but understands he is not quite ready yet. He did engage with the beginnings of a course but realised he was not ready at that point and feels that with the support of Speke House, he will be. He feels more positive about what the future holds for him and continues to thrive.
David added: “I don’t want to rush myself back – I want to take things day by day.”
He enjoys going to the gym and spending time with his parents and young son. In the past, David became anxious when spending time with him but this has changed now and he is able to be a doting father.