Lewis' story: "I'm ten times more confident"

When he felt lost, we were there.

When Lewis reached out to Porchlight, he was feeling stuck.

He’d recently finished college and was struggling to find work, which made him depressed and anxious. He isolated himself, rarely leaving the house.

Lewis began to feel helpless and worried about the future. That’s when he decided to seek help from our Aspirations service.

Aspirations aims to reach people who are unemployed and geographically or socially isolated. Our workers help people feel less lonely, improve their opportunities, and raise their self-esteem.

Practical support preparing for work

Lewis began meeting with Porchlight worker Lisa, who helped him improve his CV and search for jobs. “Just getting out of the house helped,” he says. “My mental health started getting better because I had something to focus on.”

As well as working on improving his wellbeing and preparing himself for work, Lewis got involved in our peer support scheme – where people with shared experiences provide each other with emotional, social, or practical help.

Peer support is valuable because people often feel more comfortable opening up to people who’ve been through similar experiences to them, which is helpful for their recovery.

Participating in the sessions also meant travelling to another town, which helped Lewis get out of his comfort zone. “For someone who didn’t even like leaving my room before, it was a big step.”

It was nice to give back. To help people in the way Lisa was helping me.

With our help and the confidence boost he got from taking part in peer support, Lewis successfully interviewed for a job at the local council. The panel said he was one of the best interviewees they’d ever had.

Building confidence

Now Lewis is sleeping and eating better, exercising, and taking care of himself.

“Without Porchlight I wouldn’t even have the confidence to tell my story” he says.

“It’s been quite a journey, but I’m ten times more confident than when I started. Porchlight has made an incredible difference to my mental and physical health – they’ve been fantastic.”

Aspirations is a Building Better Opportunities project funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this kind of support please explore the links below.