From Depression to Driving Success for Dungannon man

Paddy couldn't hide his delight on passing his driving test at the first attempt
Paddy couldn't hide his delight on passing his driving test at the first attempt

DUNGANNON man Patrick was recently celebrating after passing his driving test first time round.

Patrick was delighted at passing his test as it was one of his ultimate goals for 2013, along with losing weight.

His achievements are all the more significant as he has had to overcome self-esteem and confidence issues and suffered from depression.

In 2011 Patrick was referred to BCM Housing Support for Young People in Dungannon, and his aim from day one was that he would like help to live independently in the community. He was struggling due to his depression and lack of confidence and he found it hard to get the motivation to do simple things such as leave the house or socialise.

Patrick engaged regularly with BCM staff and was offered a two bedroom Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) flat and received funding to furnish and decorate his flat. Over the months Patrick painted his flat, furnished it and made it into a lovely home.

His BCM support worker successfully applied to a charitable trust and he was awarded a grant to help fund driving lessons. After many lessons Patrick’s confidence increased and although he was very nervous he was able to pass his driving test first time! Patrick also has lost an incredible four stone through going to Slimming World, eating healthily, going for walks and swimming regularly.

Whilst doing this Patrick was also studying catering at Armagh College and had completed numerous courses, over the years accumulating an impressive CV of qualifications and certificates. He was also nominated Chairperson for BCM Housing Support’s monthly service user forums and would contribute each month by offering his opinions and suggestions.

Patrick has new positive attitude towards himself and life and is an inspirational role model for young people who are facing difficult times and challenges in their lives.

Housing Support for Young People is a local project run by Belfast Central Mission (BCM) which helps vulnerable young people in Armagh and Dungannon. They can help young people who are homeless, leaving care, or having difficulties within their current tenancies. The project assists young people to gain the skills required for living independently in the community. The service offered covers a full range of practical and emotional support in life-building skills for up to two years.

If you would like further information or feel that you or someone you know could benefit from the service please contact Leona Larkham on: 8775 0175 or email: llarkham@belfastcentralmission.org