“I didn’t think I’d ever leave my flat again”

Nick and his Porchlight support worker Gill

For nearly a year, Nick (54) didn’t leave his home or speak to anyone. He’d been diagnosed with depression and had also developed agoraphobia.

“I went into a deep depression and never thought I’d leave my flat again,” he recalls.

Things began improving when Live Well Kent got involved. They put Nick in touch with Porchlight’s community inclusion service and he began meeting regularly with a support worker called Gill. “I can honestly say Gill saved my life,” he says.

“She helped me build the confidence to go back outside for short periods. She was willing to sit and talk me through what I’d be doing which made it a lot less daunting. It was also nice having somebody to talk with again – it gave me back a sense of normality.”

Now, Nick attends a weekly coffee meet-up with people in similar situations. He also goes for a regular walks with Porchlight volunteer Rose.

“My confidence is coming back and the future is looking good. I still have bad days but I can always call Gill and she’ll help me.”

“If someone needs help, I’d tell them not to hesitate getting in touch with Live Well Kent,” says Nick. “It’s the best thing you could do.”