When Anne registered with Future Pathways, she felt like she had been on a rollercoaster for years. After leaving care, Anne experienced homelessness and felt she lacked the skills she needed. Anne worked for her local authority which would trigger flashbacks. Anne had also tried to access her care records, which was a painful experience. These experiences negatively affected Anne’s mental health.  

Anne heard about Future Pathways through the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Since then, Anne has worked with her Support Coordinators to access the right support for her.

“I have had two amazing Support Coordinators who went all out in helping me. Future Pathways helped me in many ways. I believe they saved my life in many ways.” 

Future Pathways supported Anne with some practical needs. For example, Anne accessed the Discretionary Fund to purchase a laptop. Anne was nervous about using the laptop since she has dyslexia. But having a laptop helped Anne build up her confidence and digital skills.  

Future Pathways also helped Anne access mental health support. When she started working with Future Pathways, Anne was going through a very difficult time. Anne accessed counselling through one of Future Pathways’ Delivery Partners.  

“I needed the space to express how I was feeling about things. I believe the counselling I received through Future Pathways helped me survive a very difficult time. The counsellor was there for me at just the right time. 

Taking the time to tell her story in counselling helped Anne in her recovery. Having support from her Support Coordinator during the Inquiry also helped her manage.  

“Anytime I phoned, they have been there for me. My Support Coordinator was amazing. She took me through everything, gave me good advice. 

With Future Pathways’ support, Anne was able to address her home environment. At the time, Anne was dealing with harassment from neighbours, and she did not feel safe where she lived. Because of these challenges, Anne felt isolated. Future Pathways purchased a membership at a cinema, to help Anne enjoy time away from the house.  

“The cinema membership encouraged me to leave the flat and venture into town. When the cinema was quiet, I felt safe, like I didn’t need to scan the place. Then, I started going to other places in the city like the Gallery of Modern Art. 

With Future Pathways’ support, Anne was able to move to a new area, close to her family. Future Pathways also helped Anne buy household items to settle into her new home. 

I thought things could never be resolved before I moved. But I couldn’t have asked for better housing. Here, I have my own front door. I don’t have any stress about opening my door anymore. 

Now, Anne wants to make difference to others through the Voices for a Better Future group. Being a member of Voices for a Better Future has given Anne insight that not everyone has positive experiences with Future Pathways. Anne feels there might be some things Future Pathways could do to improve. For example, following up with people after about their experiences working with our Delivery Partners, and reducing the need to work with different Support Coordinators.  

Its difficult because everyone is different. Maybe Future Pathways could look into what is working for people and what isn’t.” 

Overall, Anne feels working with Future Pathways made a positive difference in her life.  

“Really in every way, Future Pathways have had a very big impact in my life.” 
Pat has been working with us for about a year and a half. He wanted to share his experience of working with Future Pathways.
How long have you been working with Future Pathways?

About a year and a half now.

How did you find out about us?

It was a friend. He got me to go to Wellbeing Scotland, and they told me about Future Pathways.

How has Future Pathways helped you?

Well, I didn’t really have much self-confidence and stuff. My Support Coordinator helped me to learn to ask for help. It’s a thing I found hard before, because of the way I’ve been brought up in life: basically, help always cost me something.

How did you manage to make that change?

One of the first things my Support Coordinator did is she got me a laptop: it’s a type of thing I would never spend money on just for me. She got me to understand that I’ve got to look out for me as well. And in the long run, that will help everybody else.

I found it great just sitting on the laptop. I like to learn, but I never had the confidence to learn and I was never encouraged. A website about photography came up. Years and years ago, I had a small camera and I loved it. I would just go out and walk and take photos.

So Future Pathways helped me get a camera, which helped me. It gave me a reason to get out there and do something just for me, basically.

How is life different now?

It’s definitely different. See the name Future Pathways? It’s like before, my pathway was always leading around about and coming back again, but they helped me make a different pathway, which has opened up the inner belief in me. I can do this, I can take photographs, I can do whatever.

I’m going to start a writing course in a couple of weeks, and that’s something I would never have even considered. I’ll be nervous! I’ll be uptight still, but I’ve got the belief to try it.

It’s great that you’ve got more self-confidence and you believe in yourself…

A while ago, my boy got me and my partner a Christmas present: a flight to Dublin. I never used it, because I didn’t have the confidence. But Future Pathways helped me, so I went for it, me and my partner. It’s the first time that we’ve been on a plane. I’m over 50 years old, and it was the first time I was on an aeroplane, the first time I’d looked at the clouds from the other side.

It was only a short flight, but it’s something I would have never attempted, never thought about. But now I know I can do this. It’s the simple things in life, that other people take for granted… they’re the most important things for me.