Published on: 10th May 2022

Peter served in the RAF from 1984 to 1989 and was posted to the Falklands when he was 19 years old. He is currently receiving support from the Military Veterans’ Service.

Peter Hughes“During the pandemic I initially worked from home, but I found that hard and decided to leave my job and become a full-time carer for my mum (taking her out of a care home). I didn’t realise how lonely my existence was to become. Many months passed and I burned the candle at both ends. My alcohol intake increased, I alienated most of my friends and family and one night it got too much and I had thoughts about taking my own life.

I got help from the ambulance service and a paramedic gave me details of the Military Veterans Service at Pennine Care. I needed someone to trust and finally, someone kept a promise and called me back. The staff were able to connect with me and not only that; they were able to make calls to people on my behalf. I started to feel connected to people that cared.

The service has given me someone to rely on, who will not let me down. The biggest thing for me is that I can call Rachel and I know that she will call me back if she is not available. No other service does that. I no longer felt alone.

Through the years I have spoken to lots of different organisations but not got the help I needed. Rachel gave me a way forward and the encouragement, genuine care, support and nudges in the right direction when I needed it. Rachel visited me and met my mum, she walked with me and laughed with me, shared my woes and put a smile on my face when times were rubbish.

MVS saved my life and made me a friend of the world again. I no longer drink to excess and I am a better friend and carer to my mum. I laugh a lot more. I now want to live and I can see a glimmer of a future. Above all else, I don’t feel alone now.

For anyone who finds themselves in a similar position, don’t feel guilty about asking for help. Reach out and keep trying until you find the right people/person for you. Not every recovery-avenue is suitable for everyone as we are all individuals and different. Don’t feel guilty about turning help away if it not the right help for you. Eventually you will find your ‘Rachel’ and everything will start to seem rosier. But whatever your needs are; please do not give up as you are not on your own.”