Case Study - Ben

Ben was within the care system. All his foster placements had broken down as he stole from the homes to feed his drug and drink habit. He had a stomach ulcer but drank to deal with his depression, ADHD, and mental health issues. He refused to take his medication; in fact he was arrested for smashing up the doctor’s surgery. Ben was homeless and refused to work with social services to get re-homed. He was on a spiral of self-destruction which he couldn’t break out of.

His friends brought him to Battling On and he enrolled on the “Together We Can Succeed” programme. With the help of his veteran mentor Ben fully engaged with the programme, his mentor got him re-registered with a GP and he re-started taking his medication. His mentor took him for substance abuse counselling, and worked with social services to get him into supported living. Ben passed his course and enrolled with a further education college to continue his vocational studies. Ben said

“Without Battling On I would literally be dead or living on the streets taking crack”.

Whilst the success of the “Together We Can Succeed” programme is undeniable, Battling On has helped countless veterans through its training and wrap around support approach. This can be as simple as helping with CVs and job applications to addressing more complex issues such as mental health disorders, substance abuse and homelessness. The following case study highlights this work.

Case Study - Lucy

Lucy lived in Glasgow and joined the Royal Navy at age 16. She had no qualifications but was trained in weapons systems. Having sustained an injury to her knee she was invalided out of the Navy. The Navy was Lucy’s whole world and she had never considered any other occupation. She struggled to find work and slipped into depression and became agoraphobic. Battling On worked with her over a six-month period helping her through her depression. Seeing what we did, Lucy expressed an interest in helping others. She said she would like to help people like her, people whose lives had been changed through injury, she wanted to be an occupational therapist. But without qualifications she felt it was just an impossible dream.

Battling On supported Lucy to get the qualifications she needed to be accepted onto an access course which would allow her to apply for a university place. Last August Lucy contacted us to let us know she passed her course getting three straight As. She had applied to Queen Margret’s University, (there were 400 applicants for 38 places) Lucy was one of the 38. She has now started her course:

“it’s scary, wonderful a dream come true. A dream Battling On made possible”

Veteran Story

Rachel was referred to Battling On after being medically discharged from the Army. She was suffering from severe depression and complex medical needs which left her in a lot of pain, and was deemed to be at high risk of committing suicide.

I got to a point where I didn’t want to be here anymore but I talked myself into giving myself three more months, I thought if things aren’t any better by then I can end it. I was referred to Battling On by Pentreath and by that point I thought I had nothing to lose. I really didn’t think they could do anything for me. I cannot thank the staff enough. They gave me the time and space to get better. I know I still have a long road ahead of me but I now know I’m strong enough to walk it and for the first time since leaving the army I have a future to look forward to. I would not be alive it wasn’t for Battling On’s support.

Rachel is now undertaking a Foundation Degree and has successfully transitioned into civilian Life.

Young Person’s Story

Lewis was referred to Battling On through the Youth Offending Team. He had a history of arrests for violence and drug offences. After successfully completing the Battling On Together We Can Succeed programme he has gone into full time education.

Ever since my Dad left us I would wake up every morning so angry. It has been so difficult, I don’t get on with my mum she just shouts at me and makes me even madder. I found coming to Battling On really helped I could go out all day and just forget about my worries. The instructors have really helped me they have taught me it is better to think before acting and take time out, before I would just get into fights but now I have learnt to walk away. The best bit of coming to Battling On is there are other people like me who have been in trouble so nobody judges you. I really want to change things now and get a job and have a good future.

Parent’s Story

Ben was a young person who suffered extreme panic attacks and high levels of anxiety due to his autism. As a result, Ben had to be home taught and was socially isolated. He was referred to Battling On by Careers South West

The change I have seen in my son since he started at Battling On is literally amazing. I had to home school Ben because he had such bad panic attacks and would run away. I was told about this project that helped young people like him and was getting really good results, but to be honest I was skeptical having heard it all before.

But from day one the staff could not have been more helpful. Before Ben even started they took the time to talk to us, listen to our concerns and developed a programme for him that was bite size steps slowly building his confidence. Nothing was too much bother and they kept us in the loop at all stages. Ben is now going to college full time and more importantly enjoying it. I cannot thank the staff enough. As parents all you want is for your child to be happy and for the first time in a long while Ben is.