Support for a Royal Engineer

GB 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 also led to the development of PTSD which GB 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, GB suffers from alcohol addiction and this has caused him to have 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 However due to his erratic interaction with them and his failure to address his ongoing issues, this support has been withdrawn through time.

GB can go for a number of weeks without drinking and during this time his health improves greatly. He takes pride in his appearance and the upkeep of his house is also better, however this is all undone when he returns to alcohol.

GB 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, GB was doing well and beginning to interact better with his workers and neighbours, however when the pandemic struck, his worker could no longer make personal visits and all contact was by telephone. This is when things began to deteriorate for GB and his drinking increased leading to his house becoming extremely untidy/filthy and his own health going downhill as well as his losing interest in his appearance.

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

GB 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 any entrance into his home, it was clear from his appearance - and what could be seen of the inside of the house - that GB was struggling greatly. GB did confirm that he was eating and that an upstairs neighbour was delivering essential supplies of milk and bread and generally assisting as GB would allow. 

As a result of the visit, contact was made with GB’s landlord and they arranged to visit him a few weeks later for a housing check. GB was initially concerned by this as he thought they might evict him due to the condition of the house and he asked that his Sacro worker be present for the visit for support. Special permission was obtained to allow this and the worker did attend while the landlord inspected the property.

Despite his fears of eviction, the landlord was very supportive and agreed that GB needed some help. They agreed to clear out and clean up the property so that GB could restart his life as the condition of the flat had added to his descent into depression.

With this in place, his Sacro worker was able to negotiate that the landlord would also redecorate the property and applications to SSAFA and the Scottish Welfare fund resulted in grants to enable the flooring in the flat to be renewed and sofas and beds replaced so that GB could return to a fully refurbished home.

Funding was also sourced from the homeless veterans association to allow GB to move out of his home whilst the work is being undertaken.

The work will be undertaken in the coming weeks and the fact that it is in place has already had a marked positive impact on GB’s frame of mind and has allowed him to move forward to a much better place mentally and physically.

It is hoped that this kick start will provide GB with the incentive to maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle which will improve his living conditions and allow him to move forward with his life.