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Matt, 53, ex Army, Royal Hampshire Regt

By Walking With The Wounded on

Every penny you raise for Walking Home For Christmas will support people like Matt..

‘As an alcoholic, I’d taken things right to the edge and I needed to rebuild my life in gradual steps. The help I received from WWTW was incredible. My WWTW Advisor, Alex, was always there for me - She listened, she did lots of work on my behalf and then she pointed me in the right direction. She got it spot on and I cannot thank her enough for that.’

Matt joined the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1983 at the age of 16. After 5 years’ service, Matt decided to leave the army to pursue a career outside of the military. 

Unfortunately, it was during this period that Matt began to drink. At first it was social drinking – the odd pint after work and at the weekends – but this gradually increased until it spiralled out of control and he was drinking all day every day,  as a result of his drinking, Matt’s marriage ended in divorce. 

Matt referred himself - first to SPACES (Single Person’s Accommodation Centre for Ex- Services) and then on to Mike Jackson House (MJH), where he moved in June 2018. The situation came to a head in January 2019 when staff at MJH were alerted to the fact that Matt had collapsed and was extremely unwell. An ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital where he stayed for several weeks – the medical staff were direct and informed him that he had been one hour away from dying.

Then, one night in September 2019, he received a phone call from the hospital to say an ambulance was on its way to collect him for his liver transplant operation. The procedure went well and in time Matt made a great recovery - he hasn’t touched alcohol since.

Matt was keen to re-engage with society and work, so at the beginning of 2020 he met with Alex, his Employment Advisor at WWTW. Alex and Matt met on a weekly basis, worked on his CV and helped him to make some key decisions. Alex researched some possible ideas and then put Matt in contact with Age UK’s Men in Sheds – a community-led initiative that offers free space and facilities for men of all ages to regularly get together to socialise and to share and practice their woodworking skills. Matt now attends several times a week to work on his woodwork projects.

'I've gone from rock bottom to the very top, I couldn't ask for much more from WWTW, thanks to their help, I'm really looking forward to this Christmas'