One of our veterans, David, has shared his story with us about how difficult it was for him being unemployed for such a long time, and how The Poppy Factory came to his rescue.
After leaving the Navy, I struggled in an unsuitable job. My marriage exploded and I couldn’t cope at work and I eventually ended up out of a job. There was no stability in my life whatsoever for nearly 10 years.
You can’t ask for help – that’s not what a man does. But I wish I had known a few years ago what could be achieved with the support.
My 70-year old parents have seen me turn around in the last few months. They are less worried and much happier. I called my mum to say I have a permanent job and she was so happy. She would normally see my number pop up on her phone and assume it was bad news.
I’ve been able to get rid of the one thing that crippled me. It wasn’t drinking; it was shame. I didn’t have a job for the last few Christmases. I would go and hide, which really hurt my family. They wanted to see me and give me Christmas presents but because I had nothing to give back, I would just lock myself away. I was ashamed.
Now that Christmas is coming, I am looking forward to getting something nice for the people that I care about. It’s such an important thing for me – I don’t care if I get a present myself. I have been supported so much from The Poppy Factory. I was incredibly worried about work on Monday but now I’m positive and looking forward to it.
Sue from The Poppy Factory came along to meet me said, “what do you want to do?”
I said I want to go back to work but I have so many things in the way.
She said, “lets come up with a plan, you tell me what the barriers are and we will get over it.”
I thought it was be too good to be true – like a Sunday glossy magazine supplement story. I am incredibly grateful. For someone, like Sue, to go out their way to come and see you and speak to you is great. She makes it personal. It almost felt like I was the only person that mattered. That was a privilege to feel like that. Instead of you just saying you will do any job, The Poppy Factory help you find the job you want.
Visit poppyfactory.org/giveback to take part in our Christmas appeal and to donate.
We also published some statistics about the challenges faced by unemployed people in the lead up to Christmas. You can read more about that on our blog page.