Peter* was recently discharged from our resettlement programme as our team believed he was ready for independent living without their support. It’s always a bittersweet moment, but Peter has made so much progress that, despite some ups and downs along the way, it was an easy decision to make.

This month, Peter came back to Barnabus to say hello and thank you. He also kindly wrote this story – his story – for us to share. It’s so important to get these stories from our friends’ perspectives as it allows us to understand where they were mentally and how best we can help each person achieve their goals.

We were very touched by Peter’s story, having known him for a couple years and supported him throughout a difficult stage of his life. We hope you find it as inspiring and insightful as we did.

*Name has been changed to protect our friend’s identity

I came to Barnabus just before Christmas 2020. I had been suffering with my PTSD and domestic violence from my ex-partner. At the time, I was on probation and was scared because I had nowhere to go. I thought I was going to end up back in custody when I was trying to turn my life around.

When I came to Barnabus, they asked me to visit their support office where I was welcomed by Steve and Jenna. They sat me down and made me a brew and asked me what had happened.

I was then supported into an emergency bed at a night shelter.

I was then put in touch with the Barnabus resettlement team, and I began working with Aimee.

After a few weeks, I was offered a room in a shared house with other guys who were also supported by Barnabus. I had my own room where I felt safe, and I could begin to rebuild my life and get my life back on track and rebuild my relationship with my son.

While at the shared house, my confidence began to grow, and I helped the other lads in there and taught them how to cook and clean.

During the period of time that I was in the shared house, I began to volunteer with a charity shop four times a week, and also to get myself back into my fitness training.

The staff from the resettlement team at Barnabus popped in to check on us every week, and they were always at the end of the phone if there was a problem.

In late 2021, I was supported by Steve, Aimee and Cat into my own self-contained flat where I am still, and I’ve made it my own home. My relationship with my son is a lot better and I have regular access to him every weekend. I’ve got a girlfriend who I’ve recently got engaged to at the start of this year, and I start my new full-time job in a few weeks too.

I honestly don’t know where I would be without the help, love and support from all the staff at Barnabus – they are all superstars.