“There were days when I didn’t have much...but I knew I could come here to eat, take care of myself and others, and feel better."
When Ivan arrived in Brighton in February 2019 he'd been looking for a job for over 6 months and was feeling let down by some of the organisations that he'd tried to get help from. He was having panic attacks and experiencing depression too. The weather was extremely cold so he used an emergency night shelter, before eventually getting a place in a hostel. During the day he'd spend time in the library, the train station, the park – anywhere that was free and out of the cold. Then someone told him about The Clock Tower Sanctuary.
"The Sanctuary is a like a family, there's nowhere else like it. I would have spent my days entirely in front of a computer. Through The Clock Tower Sanctuary I’ve done fantastic activities and have really picked myself up. The food provided is also lifesaving. There were days when I didn’t have much of it while running out of money, but I knew I could come here to eat, take care of myself and others, and feel better.
“The Sanctuary meets your basic needs, and that in turn allows you to get organised yourself to continue researching and getting a job. Otherwise, you are in a fight or flight survival mode and you can very easily spiral down, becoming depressed and lonely. It’s exhausting.
“I had an interview for a job in another town in Sussex and The Clock Tower Sanctuary paid my travel costs. My case worker has been amazing too, incredibly nice, funny and personable. She has helped with my mental health as well, giving me tools to manage myself when things get overwhelming."
Ivan has now found a paid job in a creative environment and a place to live in London. He wants to develop his photography skills and build a career in the industry.