Can you imagine being so anxious, you became a prisoner in your own home? Seeing the fear in everything, to the extent that even a patch of ice on your doorstep is a reason not to leave the house that day? That was the case for Tom, who by the time he was 18 years old had been diagnosed with severe phobic anxiety, emetophobia, autism, and dyspraxia and despite numerous therapies and medication was seeing very little improvement in his quality of life.
“Things became even harder for Tom when he turned 18,” said his dad, Paul. “His friends all went off to university, as you do at that age, but he was left at home as he hadn’t been able to complete his A-levels – and due to the severity of his conditions, he felt totally trapped. He couldn’t even leave the house.”
The team at the Hythe shop, including shop manager Lucy, welcomed the extra help with open arms. Although the pair started slow, offering two shifts in the shop every week, things snowballed quickly – and before either of them knew it, Paul was Assistant Manager of the Demelza Hythe book shop as well as a keyholder for the main shop!