Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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What I'm thinking

March 01 2020

David Lawrence remembers how false friends made his life tough

When I moved into my housing association flat, the mistake I made was to give the wrong people my address. I used to be scared when the doorbell rang at 3am for a very long time and I would answer the door without checking who it was. This meant people could bully me into giving them all my benefit because they became violent and would make sure I had no food to eat.

Luckily for me I was volunteering at St Mungo’s and they helped me to get help. Whilst it is hard to stand up for yourself, especially bullies, it has to be done to have a life.

I felt that my issues were too small to waste my GP’s or police time. This is never true. I managed to see a psychotherapist who did a trauma test and then wrote a letter so I could apply for sheltered housing.

A lot of people have mixed feelings about moving into their permanent accommodation. I often wondered if I would remember everything I had learnt. The unknown is always scary! 

One way to help avoid these fears is to join some social groups or to volunteer in your neighbourhood. Having something to do does get rid of boredom and loneliness and helps you meet real friends, not ones who just want your money. I have a few tips for people to make the most out of their life:

  • Find your local nearest community groups – try libraries
  • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also link you with voluntary work: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
  • Look for social groups on the internet. Sometimes they charge but might be worth a try, see www.meetup.com
  • There are lots of volunteering opportunities at St Mungo’s, see www.mungos.org/get-involved/volunteer. You can even volunteer if you have a criminal record.
  • Any questions, email volunteer@mungos.org or call 0203 856 6160
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