Andrew's Story

“It was at the start of lockdown I really began to notice things were seriously wrong in my relationship. We met on a night out and two months later she was pregnant. It seemed ok at first but then I started noticing big changes. She became very controlling. We didn’t know how to communicate and when we were locked in together it just made everything worse. “I was drinking too much. I was hiding it, sneaking out, buying the strongest stuff I could find on my way home from work. Anything to help me cope before I had to go home. My baby was born during the first lockdown. My relationship was getting worse and worse, I was desperate and didn’t know what to do.

“Support from Young Gloucestershire (YG) was a game changer. The combination of counsellor and youth worker helped me to look at things from a different perspective. There was no judgement and they were totally flexible around my shifts where I worked at the hospital. The counsellor would ask lots of probing questions while the youth worker would help me unpack what I had discovered and make practical changes in my life.

“When my partner disappeared taking my child and all our money with her, I was so grateful to have YG’s support. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped. They have helped me investigate my legal rights, encourage me to make sensible decisions and plan ahead. “The biggest thing that has changed for me is my self-confidence. I know that I am a good person and I am worthy of a good relationship. I understand that my future counts and I can’t just try and please other people all the time. This goes for my personal relationships and also at work. YG have helped me invest in my career with the NHS and my new confidence has helped me communicate better at work. I know I have a long road ahead of me as I fight to see my son but I have the strength to manage it and I know where I can get help when I need it."