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Toby’s Story

Hi I’m Toby, I’m 18 and I’m from Stroud.

I’ve always been a bit anxious, worrying about meeting new people or going to new places.

During the pandemic when we all went into lockdown, I actually quite enjoyed it. OK, the world was breaking on the outside but being able to stay at home, in my own space and feel more in control of my life was great.

I got so comfortable that when the world opened up again, I didn’t want to join in. The anxiety of going back to school was overwhelming – what if people didn’t like me in real life? What if everything had changed? And what if covid was still out there?

So, I didn’t go back to school. I didn’t leave my house. Most days I didn’t even leave my bed. Every morning I felt like my feet were stuck to the floor of my bedroom and I couldn’t move.

Lots of people tried to help me, suggesting counselling or therapy, but I just couldn’t face it.

My mum tried her best to help, but she didn’t seem to understand me. Then we had a big falling out and stopped talking to each other all together.

A few days later something in me clicked. I didn’t want to be stuck like this anymore – I missed talking to my Mum and I could see life ‘on the outside’ happening without me.

So that day I found some courage and called The Door.

They told me straight away that it was OK to feel the way I felt, that there were other people going through the same things and that if meeting face-to-face was too big a step, I could have support over the phone.

The following week I had my first call from my mentor James. He was really friendly. We talked about what I had been up to that day and why I had asked for help.

When I hung up it felt like a huge weight had been lifted, and next week’s call couldn’t come soon enough. James was great he put me at ease straight away and it wasn’t long until we were dealing with the big stuff.

One year on from that call and my life has changed so much. With James’ help I went to college and finished my studies, I’ve visited my GP to talk about my mental health and I’m talking to my mum again.

If it wasn’t for The Door, I’d probably still be stuck in my room with no idea what to do. Instead, I’m looking at universities, thinking about getting my own place and being more ambitious in my life. Those 15-minute calls from James each week have been a lifeline – to know that there’s someone on the end of the phone rooting for me to has been so important.

There are lots more young people like me that need someone like James to help them get their life moving again.

If you are able, please consider making a donation to The Door’s Christmas Challenge Appeal this winter where every pound you donate between 28th November and 5th December will be doubled. All funds raised will go directly to The Door and be used to fund telephone mentoring for young people.

Toby’s Story – Christmas Challenge 2023

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