My name is Brandon and I am 21 years old. I have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. Due to my fragmented mental health and the relationship breakdown with my parents, I have a CPN and mental health social worker. I became homeless due to a breakdown in my home life. I had never been homeless before and I didn’t know what to do. I was interviewed by Tamworth Cornerstone Housing Association (TCHA) and given a lifeline when they offered me accommodation. I moved into the hostel in March 2018 and started taking part in the BBO Evolve project.

I found it hard at first to trust staff but with time and support, I started to open up and begin to come to terms with my fragmented relationship with my parents. My support worker at TCHA introduced me to Carol, a BBO Evolve Life Skills Worker. She has helped me to overcome my barriers and to gain the skills that I need to move closer to my personal goal of giving back to the community. In the future, I wish to be a local councillor. I have started the process by joining a political party and meeting my MP.

The project has helped me with lots of things including:

  • Money Management & Budgeting – I was helped to open up a savings account and to reduce my debts by making one monthly payment.
  • Getting Back to Work – I have been supported to write a CV and to find some suitable training. I am now doing an online distance learning NCFE Level 2 course in Information, Advice and Guidance which will help me become a local Councillor. I have also been supported to contact my local MP who is helping me get more involved in politics. In the near future, I hope to be able to find a suitable volunteering opportunity. Plus my Life Skills Worker applied and obtained free bus travel which means more opportunities are available to me.
  • Personal Life – I have been accompanied and supported to attend case conferences with my mental health advisor. I am also able to discuss family matters with my Keyworker which has helped me to deal with things in a calm and planned way rather than just panicking. My relationship with my family is improving as I gradually build bridges.

I now represent other TCHA tenants and meet regularly with the CEO and attend Management Committee meetings. In this role, I have already been able to make a difference to others. For example, as a result of my presentation to the Management Committee, we now have Wi-Fi in the hostel lounge.

I am still getting support from the BBO Evolve project at TCHA and am now in my own flat and feeling positive about the future.