Greg’s Story

May 26, 2022
Images used are for illustrative purposes only and names of subjects have been changed

Greg is a 62-year-old former Royal Engineer.

During his time in the Army, he completed a number of tours in Northern Ireland. During one such tour, a device exploded in a house he was searching; resulting in his being injured with several shrapnel wounds to his head and face. This incident led to the development of PTSD which Greg struggles with on a daily basis.

Some time after leaving the service, he moved back from London to Scotland where he lived with his partner.

On the breakdown of that relationship, he was initially housed in a number of temporary accommodations but was eventually given the tenancy of his own one-bedroom flat in a block of four similar properties.

As a result of his PTSD, Greg suffers from alcohol addiction, and this has brought him into contact with a number of support agencies. However due to his erratic interaction with them and his failure to address his ongoing issues, this support has been withdrawn through time.

Greg can go for weeks without drinking and during this time his health improves greatly. He takes pride in his appearance and the upkeep of his house. This is all undone when he returns to alcohol.

Greg is aware of his living conditions during these times and will not allow anyone, including his support workers, access to his house as he is by his own admission “ashamed” of how he is living.

In the early part of 2020, Greg was doing well and beginning to interact better with his workers and neighbours. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, his worker could no longer make personal visits and all contact was by telephone. Greg struggled with and his situation began to deteriorate. His drinking increased, leading to his home and appearance becoming badly neglected with the resultant impact on his health.

Greg was acutely aware of this but his pride would not allow him to admit it. With contact limited with the outside world, he would state that he was “fine” and did not need any help.

Greg is in contact with a number of ex-colleagues via social media and when he discovered that a friend had received a food parcel via the network set up by Fares4Free, he asked if someone could deliver food to him. As a result of this, his designated Sacro worker – who was also part of this network – was able to visit him and deliver food.

Whilst restrictions prevented entrance to his home, it was clear from Greg’s appearance and what could be seen of the inside of his home, that there was cause for great concern.

Greg’s landlord was contacted, and a visit arranged for a housing check. Greg was concerned he may be evicted due to the condition of the house and asked that his Sacro worker be present to support him during the visit.

Despite Greg’s fears, the landlord was very supportive and agreed that he needed help. They agreed to clear clean up the property and give Greg a fresh start. His Sacro worker was also able to negotiate for the landlord to redecorate the property and supported Greg in making applications to the armed forces charity, SSAFA and the Scottish Welfare fund. These resulted in grants to renew the flooring in the flat and replace sofas and beds so that Greg could return to a fully refurbished home. Funding was also sourced from the Homeless Veterans Association to allow Greg to move out of his home while work was underway.

The support provided by Sacro and these other charities has already made a really positive impact on Greg's frame of mind. He now has the incentive to maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle and we are confident this improvement in Greg's living conditions will allow him to move forward with his life.  

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