I am Sean. I started on the Changes Project in December 2017.
I have lived through a complicated childhood including bullying that left me with depression and anxiety. Now I recognise it made me who I am today and I am grateful for life’s lessons. One of my lifelines has always been my interest in boxing but I never could have imagined what would transpire once I had signed up for the SHAP Changes project.
The Changes team have been my lifeline and without them my story could not be told. I owe buckets to Changes. They built my confidence through their Confidence through Coaching workshops and through individual support from each of the Changes team. This support enabled me to summon the courage to send a video thanking Tyson Fury for being an inspiration to people like me. After a short period of time Tyson Fury video-called me and said “Sean, keep going and keep up the good work”, inspiring me to overcome my self-limiting beliefs. I know now that I can help others like myself get up of the canvas having been knocked down by life’s tribulations, as Tyson did against Deontay Wilder, and keep on fighting!
Tyson’s management team posted my video on his Instagram account as I sat there in a Changes organised workshop the number of hits began to climb from a few hundred into over 35 thousand. I couldn’t believe it. The video has been viewed over 1 million times and I have received positive replies and encouragement from people like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerard and a host of other people from around the world. I was then invited to go down to a special event as a VIP to meet Tyson Fury in person, his management team and his family treated me like a celebrity. At one point I told him how I had been bullied when I was younger and wished that I had had a big brother to defend me and he said ‘I’m your brother now’. What a moment! I am conscious of my responsibility to help people like me.
I now play rugby for Widnes Vikings Learning Disability Rugby Team and have played in 10 games and scored 8 tries and am looking to write a book about my journey through mental health challenges and beyond.
Sean, November 2019.