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Graham’s story: “I’ve been given hope and a belief in myself”

Blog Positive People - Cornwall 25 May 2021

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Graham is 52 and lives in the Liskeard area. After the first Covid lockdown he was let go from his role as a deputy manager of a mental health rehabilitation unit. On top of that Graham was having to contend with a long-term back issue, with constant pain, even with pain-killing medication. Needless to say, Graham’s mental health took a knock and we all know how life can be really tough when a change comes along and we feel we’re not actually able to control it.


For 24 years Graham worked as a network engineer for BT. This was followed by 11 years working with the homeless in a hostel environment, then two years working in the community with the long-term homeless who had degrees of mental health and long-term addiction issues.

“I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since my early teens, but I’ve always found work has helped me. I injured my back in my twenties while working for BT, leaving me with severe nerve pain and arthritis, which has also impacted on my mental health over the years.”

Recent challenges

I felt there was a lack of understanding and support from my most recent employer, who was unwilling to make, what I considered to be reasonable adjustments, to help me continue working for them. That episode also had a severe detrimental impact on my mental health too, which dragged on over a six-month period.

Support from Positive People

At the beginning of December 2020, Graham joined the Pluss Positive People programme, through Cornish charity, Pentreath, which is a Positive People partner, that promotes good mental health through personal development, education and employment.

“I was encouraged with help to access courses and support to regain my self-esteem and to begin to believe that I could find meaningful work and thrive.

“I’ve been given hope and a belief in myself which I’d lost since that recent (negative) work experience.

Graham is now seeking work that will provide a work-life balance and he is looking forward to a new, positive chapter in his life.

If you would like to find out more about Pentreath, visit: and for more details about the Pluss Positive People programme, visit: our Positive People pages.