Thames Reach
Wednesday 24 May 2017
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Getting back in touch

Gillian lives at the Bermondsey Project, specialist housing run by Thames Reach where she gets support for her mental health issues. Staff there help residents to work through their problems, become more independent and improve their well-being.


Photo of GIllian
Gillian in the garden of the Bermondsey Project, specialist housing for people with mental health issues

It emerged in one conversation that Gillian wanted help to find and get back in touch with her family – whom she hadn’t seen for over nine years.


A staff member did some research and found the address details of her mother, brother and sisters.


A series of letters led to a happy reconciliation, with Gillian recently spending three days with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday.


She came home with a card and presents, including a new coat. More importantly, she knows what it is like to spend time laughing and joking with people you have missed.


“I like the thought of having a family again; of being able to pick up the phone and just talk to them.”


Gilliam also loved immersing herself in the Gujarati culture she had grown up with and getting the chance to speak the language she feared she had forgotten.