My Story: Michael

As a young man listening to his grandfather’s war stories Michael was inspired to join the military. At just 17 with his Mum’s permission he signed up to the British Army, completing tours in Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, serving 10 years and reaching the rank of Corporal.

His Army career came to an end when he was shot in the leg and medically discharged. Without the structure and routine of the military, his life began to spiral out of control. He was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and experienced vivid nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety from his experiences on active duty.

He felt lost with nowhere to turn, and unable to sustain payments on his accommodation, ended up sleeping rough in Bromley Park. In the freezing cold, he used his military training to keep warm using, stacks of Metro papers for padding. Michael’s sister was determined to help him and found him a place with Evolve.

We have supported Michael with accommodation, 1-1 sessions with a key worker, attending appointments and championing independence. Through our work with Michael, he has achieved a range of qualifications including CSCS in construction site training, customer service and food hygiene levels 1 to 3.

Thanks to our support, Michael’s mental health has improved, and he is now able to better manage his PTSD, overcome his alcohol misuse and improve his self-esteem. He completed the Warrior Programme, which helps former military personnel develop positive coping mechanisms. Today he is a Customer Champion for our Bromley Service, representing the views of all the people we work with there.

Michael has received his CSCS card enabling him to start working on construction sites. He is ready to move-on independently, and is excited about his future as he is about to become a father.

“The staff are outstanding and are determined to help you create a better future. I gave up on myself when I had to leave the Army, but Evolve encouraged me to keep pushing forward and to never give up!”

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