Jocky's Story

Jockey Stewart

At our FareShare Depot, we deliver good quality surplus food to charities and community groups across Central and South-East Scotland.  

Jocky has been a volunteer and a valued member of the Depot team for 11 years. He helps receive and inventory food stock from commercial businesses (including supermarkets, restaurants, wholesalers and farms) and also delivers food orders out to organisations including food banks, hostels, sheltered housing, community groups, and emergency accommodation.  

Jocky was homeless for a period following his time in the Armed Forces and his experience of PTSD.   

“I came here because I was in a bad place. I killed a woman in a road accident. She just stepped in front of me. And also the time in the military, in Bosnia and Rwanda. 

I ended up getting divorced and homeless. So... I sought help and I came here. I told them my life story and they sat and talked to me and put me in contact with different places that I could actually go, like a psychiatrist.  
It's not like the olden days - "Aw, you're no going to a psychiatrist or you'll be away to the loony bin" or whatever. It was just trying to get everything out of my mind, trying to get my mind back to normal. 

Cyrenians has helped me a lot. So they said: “Would you like to volunteer with us now?” So I started volunteering with them, and I've never looked back. 

People are nice, it's not everybody's just saying things - “You want to do this, do that?” or “Whatever, whatever.” They really sat down with you and talked to you, and just made you feel at home, made you feel at ease. 

I thought, “Wow, what a difference.” I didn't think there was people like that. 

Being truthful, I just thought once you've got a problem, it’s “Aye, whatever. Somebody with another problem” and walk away. It wasn't like that at all. It was the exact opposite. 

If anyone says “What did you get out of it?” Well, my head’s sorted, I’m back to doing driving and sorting, picking and everything. I’m having a laugh and joke with all the other guys and lassies coming here. What more could you ask for? You’ve got it back tenfold.

I enjoy meeting lots of folk, and just finding out what I can do and what they need. There's a lot of communities out there that are under a lot of pressure, and we need to do all we can to make it easier for folk. I feel like the work we do has a real impact, and am proud to do it. 

We are all one big happy family. A problem? What is it? A problem shared is a problem solved, isn’t it? If you can’t solve a problem at Cyrenians, I don’t think you can solve it anywhere. So yeah, why not?” 

Jocky Stewart also generously shared his story in The Scottish Sun in November 2023. Click here to read: "'I was left suicidal by horrors of war and food bank job saved me'

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