Simon was stuck. His siblings had flown the nest and in his mid-forties, he was living in a small village near Leamington Spa with his Mum.
He worried what would happen when Mum was no longer around, with no place to live, no job and friends with “families and jobs” so no time for him.
As a whole, it felt impossible but breaking each challenge down, Ben (from the community powered advocacy project in Warwickshire) helped Simon overcome them one by one. It really took effect when Simon started to take the steps himself.
From learning his way around the kitchen with two ladies who run the local church café, to helping plan new menus and supermarket stock ups, to a discounted bus pass and an application for his own passport – his world started to open up.
A bike sourced from a local sustainable living charity has been followed up by regular lessons, and a computing course started in September. A cooking class, life skills class and drama group have since been added to the mix.
Simon was referred to an employment support service, his CV updated and interviews are in progress.
Simon reignited his desire for friendship and re-joined the local darts team – which he could now get to easily by bus and eventually by bike too – and searched online for a regular Diabetes support group in the area.
There’s still a way to go, including ongoing speech and language therapy, but the foundations for an independent life and confident future are well under construction.
We are telling Simon’s story as part of the #25yearsofGrapevine series to show how Grapevine is strengthening people across Coventry and Warwickshire.