Declan’s Story

I had always held down employment until I became unwell approximately 5 years ago. During my illness I withdrew myself from my family circle of friends and became very isolated and my world seemed to become smaller.

I met with the Psychiatrist one day who suggested that I come to AMH Foyle New Horizons, I agreed but felt very anxious and apprehensive about starting.

On starting AMH I was based in the Catering and Woodwork Departments, I found it very difficult at the start as I was very quiet and slow to make friends.

I did the Men’s Health course which I found very interesting and informative and it gave me the opportunity to meet other Clients within the Unit.

When I settled in and felt more comfortable and at ease I started a woodwork course and then a Food Hygiene course, achieving these courses helped build my confidence and self- esteem and also enabled me to get to know everyone within these departments and helped me realise that I wasn’t alone with my illness.

I found that I was becoming more involved in the Catering Department with food prep, baking and cooking and realised that I really enjoyed it and proceeded to commence and subsequently achieve NVQ I and II in Catering.

I then met with the Employment Officer (Valerie) to discuss options for placement and although I felt a little nervous about taking this step Valerie assured me that I would be fully supported the whole way through the process. We discussed various places for placement and both agreed on The Delacroix Restaurant.  Valerie made contact with them and they agreed to meet with both of us for an informal chat and I started the following week and I now attend my work base training placement one day per week.

My confidence has steadily grown and I have now also taken on an NVQ III in Professional cooking at North West Regional College. I have moved on from AMH but continue to attend my placement at The Delacroix and will receive ongoing support from Valerie.

Coming to the AMH Service was one of the best positive decisions I have ever made as I could never have imagined myself achieving the goals I have achieved to date and I would have to attribute all credit to my success to AMH especially Damian and John. Thank you

Declan Mc Carron

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