A PONTYPOOL man has credited a community inclusion scheme for helping him to turn his life around.

After being discharged from hospital, Matt Unwin became involved with Torfaen Community Connectors in December 2016, describing himself as feeling “low in confidence, isolated and struggling to cope emotionally and socially”.

The connectors gave one to one support to increase his confidence and supported him in attending appointments with specialist services, Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS), Torfaen Floating Support, Gofal and Bridges into Work.

Mr Unwin said “It’s nice to know there are services out there for support. I was unaware of these services and felt completely alone. I just can’t thank them enough.

“Without the Community Connectors, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

He has since been volunteering with Changing Gearz, a Torfaen cycle project which aims to train young people in bike maintenance, repair and cycle training.

During his time volunteering he has helped to build an office and used recycling wood to make new desks at the centre.

Gordon Jones, a community connector, said “Matt is a completely different person to the one I had first seen all those months back. His confidence and ability to work with others has improved immensely. He is a new man.”

The aim of the Community Connectors is to improve health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and promote independence.

For more information, contact the team on 01495 742397 or email at communityconnectors@torfaen.gov.uk.