Peter first started coming to the Day Centre to help overcome his feelings of loneliness. He would often pop in for a chat with a DENS Project Worker and something to eat.
Living with his mother as her main carer, Peter had very little structure throughout his week – only leaving his house to do grocery shopping or attend the Day Centre.
Peter, who is in his thirties, has learning difficulties and finds it challenging to communicate with others and convey his emotions. He went to a school that provided support for people with special educational needs, but felt this support completely stopped after he left at the age of 18 and has since faced social exclusion because of this.
He also experienced family issues, which is something he found very difficult to cope with emotionally.
Working alongside a Project Worker at the Day Centre, Peter was able to identify key areas in his life that he wanted to improve. This included seeking support for his social skills and mental health, as well as finding a local volunteering role.
As Peter sometimes has difficulties in getting his point across, his Project Worker understood the importance of advocating for him by arranging and accompanying Peter to meetings with several partner charities.
Thanks to this support, Peter now has a one-to-one mental health key worker through Mind and attends regular social events with Mencap, where he has reconnected with old school friends from over 15 years ago. He has also secured a volunteering role at Sunnyside Rural Trust – working two days a week to help with caring for the garden and animals, and working at the café.
Working alongside another charity partner, the South Hill Centre, Peter is now being supported with writing a CV and work and life skills training. He is hoping to use these newly acquired skills to find paid employment in the near future.
Peter’s Project Worker has also noticed a complete change in his personality over the last few months. He is now a lot more vocal and his confidence has boosted massively, particularly around new people he meets.
His Project Worker said: “Seeing Peter’s confidence, social life and overall wellbeing grow has been inspirational. His journey is why I feel the support DENS provides is invaluable to individuals and the wider community.”
DENS is so proud of the personal development and progress that Peter has made since coming to the Day Centre. We will continue to support him towards his personal goals as he strives to gain more independence in his life.
Please note: Peter’s name and image have been changed to protect his anonymity.
This story was published on 6th January 2022.