Help change lives in Kent
Ted Briscoe-Talbot works for Porchlight. His job is to encourage the homeless and vulnerable people who use our services to have a voice and make decisions about the support they receive.
Like all of our service user voice workers, Ted has had direct experience of homelessness. He'd been living with his partner and children and running a successful business but, sadly, he lost everything when he experienced a mental breakdown as a result of severe childhood trauma.
“I'd always buried what happened to me but when I had kids of my own, it all came to the surface. I was struggling with anxiety, agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder. I just fell apart.”
Ted was referred by his GP into our community based service which supported him into specialist counselling, as well as one of our accommodation projects. "When I first moved in, I was very withdrawn," he said. "But my support worker Rob encouraged me to take on some small responsibilities, including deputy house rep, which got me out of my room and stopped me from just giving up."
As his confidence grew, Ted, who has seven A levels, started to explore the possibility of further education. He was given the practical and emotional support he needed to embark on a two year university access course (which he completed in a year) and he's now studying for a degree in sociology and politics. He lives in his own flat in Margate and sees his children every weekend.
"I'm so grateful to Porchlight because they gave me the support I desperately needed during a time of crisis. When I was struggling with mental ill health, I couldn't see any way up, forward or out. But the encouragement I received made me realise that I couldn't just give up on life. I'm so glad I didn't."
You can read more about Ted and how he uses his personal experience to support our service users in the latest issue of Porchlight Post.
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