Supporting Homeless Scots in London

Paul’s Story


Paul (pictured here with the then Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rev. Angus Morrison) suffered years of abuse by a partner. This led him to experience severe anxiety.

Paul was brought in London by his Scottish mother. When he was 16, his mother became unwell and decided to go back to Scotland. He chose to stay in London, but found it was not easy to cope on his own.

“I just went in at the deep end, really. I wasn’t very confident. I wasn’t very educated. I didn’t know nothing, so I just floated about until I was in my 20s.”

Paul had friends he could stay with, but he also went through periods of homelessness, staying in night shelters and hostels.

In 2001, Paul met someone and he moved in with her. Unfortunately his partner turned out to be abusive, but they stayed together for 14 years.

“They were very dark years of my life. They mentally disturbed me and broke me down.”

When Paul finally walked out of his relationship, he had lost contact with his family and friends. He had nowhere else to turn and started to sleep on the streets again. He was found by a local outreach team who referred him to Borderline’s Scottish Outreach Worker. Borderline arranged for him to be accommodated at a local YMCA. With support from his caseworker, Paul gradually gained confidence, and in time was able to move into a flat of his own.

“I couldn’t wait to grasp  the opportunity to start it and get everything done and build it up.”

The move has not been without difficulties. Paul’s experience has left him with health issues and severe anxiety.

“It’s like coming back from a really bad environment. It’s like I’m out in the world and I don’t recognise it, I don’t feel normal in it.”

Paul is now focusing on moving forward, with Borderline’s continued support.

“I’ve been saying to myself I’m going to do this the proper way. You’ve got to make sure your priorities are right.”

“Borderline gave me one hundred per cent support and they were with me all the way. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”