Former homeless Lancing dad wants to help others fight mental health issues and turn their lives around

A dad from Lancing is looking to create a ‘buzz’ in the community, with various events to tackle mental health issues.

Shoreham-born Glen Clayton, 28, wants to use his own personal experiences to help others finding life difficult.

“I’ve had loads of messages from people explaining their issues,” he said.

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“I just want to be there for people.

Glen Clayton, 28, has a five-year-old daughter, who he said helped him keep going after he was made homeless for a second time.

“If it helps one person, then I’ve done my job.”

When Glen was 18 and living in East Worthing, his mum, Heather, took her own life ‘out of nowhere’. He said the tragedy ‘completely split the family up’ and he ended up sofa-surfing.

His life got back on track when he got into a relationship at the age of 23 and had a daughter, now aged five.

However, after splitting up with his partner, and losing his job, Glen ended up homeless once again.

We Talk Together was set up by Glen Clayton to support people suffering with their mental health in the Worthing area

Explaining his story on a Crowdfunding page, Glen wrote: “Ever since my mother passed I had kept all of my emotions in, dealing with grief, anxiety and my mental health turned for the worst once again.

“I wasn’t able to work, I lost hope in myself, nothing felt right, which turned into the spiral of losing everything I once built myself up from, crashing to the ground.

“Faced with the biggest situation I could find myself in, I was once again back on my feet without a home.

“I was left without anywhere to turn, I felt emotionless, a man battling with his own thoughts with regrets on his shoulder, I didn’t want to become a burden to anyone else’s life.”

Glen still had contact with his daughter, who he said was the ‘main real push’ to help him carry on.

“I had no real sort of help,” he told SussexWorld.

“I had never reached out before to anyone. With men, there’s a pride issue and asking for help from friends and family. You don’t want them to worry about you.”

After the pandemic started, Glen sought support from local charity, Turning Tides, which helped him find accommodation at a hostel. He has since moved into a permanent home in Lancing.

He said: “Before that, I was constantly trying to help myself but there was no real support.

“I was thinking that there was no real help for people struggling with homelessness.

“There was no real information or knowledge around Worthing about where to go.”

Glen said he ‘felt it was my calling’ to change that.

And with that, a new initiative, called We Talk Together, was born.

“I have built this charity over the last month,” Glen said.

“The idea was in my head over the past year.

“I spoke to people close to me and they encouraged me to create mental health awareness over West Sussex and get people to talk that need the help.”

With the help of his new partner, Glen is planning to organise events and groups for the local community.

He said: “I wish I had something like that.

“I want to get people out and about of all ages.

"I am trying to get the message across for people to come together.

“There’s a lot of good things in the community in Worthing and a lot of good people, with the same mindset, who do great things.

“With the Turning Tides homeless project, I saw how much they do and how much they care.”

Glen has appealed for individuals, businesses and councillors to support his movement, adding: “I am only new and trying to branch out.

“The main issue is homelessness but I want to look at other issues.

“This will be new and advanced but I know it’s going to take time.

“A lot of people suffer in silence which is a horrible thing to think about. It’s hard to reach out and that first step is major to help get better.

“I want to get communities buzzing. I just want to make a difference to help and stop people from falling through the cracks.

“I want to make this the new buzz.”