Catherine Grimes

Categories: Advocacy Stories

My name is Catherine Grimes. I was referred to Ceartas by my Support Worker from EDAMH (East Dunbartonshire Association for Mental Health) as I was experiencing difficulties with the Homeless Team at East Dunbartonshire Council.

I received a call from Lyndsey at Ceartas who introduced herself as the Advocacy Worker who would be working with me on my housing issue. Lyndsey met with me and explained that she could help me to liaise with the Homeless Team as this is something that I found great difficulty in doing myself. Lyndsey helped me explore my options around my housing situation and worked with me to speak with the appropriate people.

Lyndsey helped me initially by making phone calls on my behalf to explain to the relevant people she was working with me and that she was the main point of contact. I felt this took some of the pressure off me from dealing with these professionals on my own all the time.

My situation became extremely difficult for me and I felt increasingly isolated; and at times powerless with little sense of hope.

Lyndsey supported me to attend a meeting with my local MP and a member of the Homeless Team. This is an area I lacked confidence in so before the meeting I spoke a lot with Lyndsey about what I wanted her to say and the points I wanted her to raise. Lyndsey supported me at this meeting and asked questions on my behalf as well as challenge the situation.

Following the meeting Lyndsey also wrote a letter on my behalf to the housing officer dealing with my case. She asked for other professionals involved in my care to write letters of support which she sent alongside this letter. Shortly after this letter was sent appropriate and suitable temporary accommodation was offered to me that met all my needs. I feel this is due to the work of Lyndsey in attending the meeting with me and writing a letter on my behalf as well as the numerous calls she made to housing for me.

Over the time I have worked with Lyndsey I have built up a good relationship with her and where I felt I was struggling on my own with nothing looking as though it would change, I now have hope for the future. Lyndsey always phones when she says she will and has emphasised my needs to the appropriate people whereas on my own I felt as though I was hitting a brick wall.

Author:

Information Worker at Ceartas Advocacy