Ian, a 26 year old ex-service man from Bradford has been given a chance to find his feet again while battling depression and anxiety as he rebuilds relationships with his wife and daughters…
Ian grew up in a large family of 10 siblings; he was involved in a lot of street crime and anti-social behaviour; skipping school, smoking cannabis and stealing, which caused a lot of arguments at home.
After family breakdown, Ian moved to Impact and was offered a trainee-ship on the maintenance team on the basis that he would quit smoking cannabis.
Ian attended a plumbing course through Impact and was on the right track where he decided to move in with his sister and her partner for a fresh start.
Struggling to stay on the straight and narrow, Ian joined the army at the age of 18, after his sister gave him the option to; find a job, join the Army or move out of her home, in the hope that this would give him the motivation needed to do something to better his future.
After 6 months training in Germany, Ian was based at an outpost in Basra, Iraq where he served for 6 months… “There were challenging times but looking forward to returning home kept me going”
During his two week leave at home Ian met his wife Anni. He was sent back to Germany to continue with army life where he would fly back and forth to spend time with Anni and her children.
After 6 month, Ian and Anni got married and had their first child together in 2010. During giving birth to their 2nd child in 2011, Anni almost lost her life due to a retained placenta which caused her to haemorrhage. This was a very traumatic experience for both Ian and Anni.
During PT back in Germany, Ian had an accident which caused him to have a prolapsed disc, he was taken into surgery, and Ian was devastated that this would end his career in the Army.
Returning home to live with his new family, Ian struggled immensely to settle back into a ‘normal’ lifestyle; signing onto JSA, looking for work and juggling family life:
“It’s not easy coming out of the army, things were up and down, I think I suffered a lot with depression but was not aware of this at the time; I would recluse myself and due to feeling frustrated I would argue a lot with Anni”
Ian and Annie separated due to huge strain on their relationship and the effect this was having on family life.
With very little support, Ian found himself sinking deeper, self medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Ian had no contact with his daughters, mentally and emotionally he was hitting rock bottom.
The Royal British Legion helped Ian to get back in touch with Impact where he was provided with a second chance to turn his situation around and offer him a new lease of life.
Impact supported Ian to gain contact with his daughters through seeking legal advice, attending appointments with the solicitor and providing moral support during court proceedings and meetings with CafCass. Impact also helped him to access the right support for his mental health and well-being, attending medical assessments, GP appointments and accessing appointments with a Psychiatrist.
Ian has now been diagnosed and receiving medication for his mental and physical health needs, where changes in his mood and behaviour is monitored by the Impact support team and his treatment for this and his alcohol problem is reviewed by professional health services on a regular basis.
He is now receiving ESA and support from Impact in budgeting, managing a tenancy as well as building self confidence through volunteering with the Impact maintenance team.
Ian now spends time with his daughters twice each week and they stay with him every other weekend without supervision;
“I try to see my girls as much as I can, I try to force myself to go to the shop and do social activities, it’s a struggle being around people and not knowing how to be ‘normal’…at the moment I’m just taking each day as it comes and having regular contact with the Impact support team who have helped me a lot…I do struggle a little sometimes but things are getting easier”