Pride 2023: Daniel's story

Growing up, I always knew I was different. I wasn’t into stereotypical boyish things like football or cars, I was more in touch with my feminine side compared to some of my male peers.

When I was younger, I struggled with anxiety, and when I was 13 and going into secondary school, I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder.

I was targeted and treated different for being me, despite trying to fit in I couldn’t mask or change who I was.

With my anxiety, I quickly fell into a rut and rarely attended lessons, and I was seen as the ‘naughty kid’. I was misunderstood and all alone. I was lucky though, as I have such a supportive family who really helped me through that time.

Eventually at 16, I left school and started at One Stop as a CSA. My old manager, Emma and all of my colleagues really helped me come out of my shell and grow my confidence. When I turned 18, I became a Shift Leader and continued to work and develop myself.

Last year, on a work night out I was assaulted by a customer who is known to be difficult, and had to take some time off work, but throughout that time the team, and my Area Manager Rhys were so supportive, and really helped me feel ready to come back to work.

Not long after that, an opportunity to become a Safe Hands Store Manager opened up, where I was able to start on my Options Placement and six months later, at the age of 20 I was signed off as a Store Manager.

One Stop is great in the fact that regardless of who you are, there is a place for you and I’m so grateful to have been so welcomed, appreciated and believed in.

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