Graeme came to St Giles after a life of trauma looking for support to help turn his life around.

Graeme’s Story

Graeme came to St Giles after a life of trauma looking for support to help turn his life around.

I use my own lived experience to support others – I see in others intuitively what they’ve been through and can help them feel listened to and safe.

Graeme came to St Giles Trust after a life of trauma: childhood abuse, mental health and substance misuse and had struggled to get the support he had needed. Due to his vulnerability, he was financially exploited by others and mixed with people exposing him to substance misuse.

It was during the pandemic where Graeme dealt with extreme social isolation that impacted him negatively. His mental and physical health, resilience and self-worth were low and he was put on suicide watch. He was offered support to help get clean and was then referred to a support group to help his social skills that had broken down as a result of self-isolating during the pandemic. The support gradually brought him back into society and he began volunteering.

It was there that Graeme discovered St Giles Trust. He signed up to the first part of the Learning to Advise course and found it motivated him to want to help others. As the course progressed, the normality of healing came naturally, helped by supportive staff at St Giles Trust and his love of cycling, and he began adopting a healthy lifestyle and positive mindset.

Graeme is now working part time as a Pantry Delivery Assistant and also a volunteer at St Giles Trust and finds his work and volunteering at the Pantry hugely enjoyable and rewarding.

He is looking forward to completing the Learning to Advise course and aims to become a Peer Advisor where he can support even more people.

The Pantry is a safe and accepting space for others to come to. They can get help with so many different things. You see people here starting to look and feel better in themselves.”

Along with the support he received at St Giles Trust and a lot of determination, Graeme has transformed his life and he is in a positive place.

The help I give others is very rewarding where I can give back to society. I had lost all my confidence before and now, my self-esteem and resilience are much better now as a result of the help I have received.

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