David, 50, served as a medic in the Royal Air Force from 1987 to 2000 and was called up again for the Iraq War in 2003. He had to go back to a different civilian job after his year long call up and was then made redundant. His wife felt that his service in Bosnia had changed him and his relationship with his wife broke down, making home life was very difficult. This affected him very much, so much so that David made an attempt at suicide. He was admitted to hospital and while there an RAF friend and his sister found out about Scottish Veterans residences (SVR) and Rosendael. It was clear that David could not return home so when he was due to come out of hospital he met the managers of Rosendael (Max and Carole) and moved in the next day.
Initially David lived very quietly at Rosendael, almost as a recluse due to his mental state. Everyone at Rosendael made him feel really welcome and he was comfortable there, he felt it was like having a family. David gradually started to make friends and came back to himself and after several months felt able to consider what his next steps would be.
Carole and Max helped David to fill out forms and access other support. He got in touch with an employment agency in Dundee called Triage which helps people back into work. Davis received help with his CV and was funded by Remploy to complete a Security Officers and gain a Security Industry Association licence.
This enabled David to get a part time job with a security company in Dundee. A year later he had the confidence to apply to another company for a full time job, where he has since been promoted twice. He really enjoys being at work and couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck at home watching daytime TV every day.
With help from the staff at Rosendael and an agreement between SVR and Hillcrest Housing Association, David moved in to a housing association property in Hilltown, Dundee. SVR and SSAFA provided financial support so that he could furnish his flat when he moved in rather than having to save up for months to get essential such as carpets, blinds and a cooker. He considers himself fortunate to get a lovely flat in a nice area.
After he moved out David continued to receive support from Rosendael, meeting with Max or Carole regularly, what he called his ‘Mum and Dad’ meetings. This outreach support has now ended but David knows that he can always contact Rosendael if he needs to “I would come back if things went wrong”, he says “but I’m sure they won’t”.
“The whole staff is like a family,” says David, “when I got a job Heather, one of the cleaning staff, stopped me in the corridor and said ‘we’re so proud of you!’. The family atmosphere is wonderful”.
Asked what Rosendael means to him, David is unambiguous: “Rosendael saved my life”.