Church Housing Trust seeks to combat the host of problems that can affect someone without a home, such as chronic depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. This can be done through therapeutic activities, counselling, day trips and even exercise routines.
Both Andrew and Tom suffered with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Their illnesses were made worse by not mixing with others, instead staying at home and dwelling on past issues. Both men were receiving counselling, which helped them to talk about their problems, but needed another outlet for their emotions.
Knowing his interests, Tom’s support worker applied for a grant from Church Housing Trust to purchase him a year’s membership at the local YMCA.
He was over the moon, as this enabled him to play pool, table tennis, and five-a-side football, or just meet friendly people and have a coffee and a chat. He discussed it with Andrew, telling him how much better he felt, that he had made new friends away from the project, and how much he enjoyed the activities. Andrew asked to join the YMCA as well.
Tom and Andrew have never looked back. They still go to the YMCA at least three times a week, have become fitter, lost weight, and their mental health issues have improved dramatically. Their counsellor stated that the exercise they were getting, the outlet for their nervous energy and the ability to make friends from different backgrounds, added to the counselling they have received, has improved their lives immeasurably. It has been proven that exercise helps with not only physical fitness, but with mental ill health too. Tom and Andrew agree.
Both men have now moved on to independent living in their own accommodation, but Church Housing Trust’s funding has gone on to help others who, like Andrew and Tom, need a focus in life. It has paid for boxing gloves, shoes and membership fees for a homeless man who joined a local boxing club, and allowed three other supported living tenants to join a gym.
Without the grant from Church Housing Trust, they would have not had access to this extra support and their lives would not have been enriched. An added bonus is that the grant also helped other charities like the YMCA with extra funds, and a small local boxing club and gym also benefitted.
Andrew and Tom’s case worker added: “Your work transforms lives, and we are grateful for all the help we have received from Church Housing Trust over the years. Thank you!”