Christmas trees and family trees

December 23, 2016 :: 11.33am

The festive season is well and truly upon us. It’s a season of spreading good cheer, spending time with family, and sharing, caring and giving. In this blog, David, a member of our Client Advisory Board, shares his plans to reconnect with his family tree in Ireland over this holiday period.

My name is David and I have been with St Mungo’s since 2012. When hearing about clients being encouraged to reconnect with their families this Christmas I just had to do this blog!

Since I became homeless in 2008, I have been working on changing my life. It meant that I had to learn how to become assertive, and to make real friends and acquaintances. Thanks to all St Mungo’s staff and my peers in Outside In (St Mungo’s client representative group) I have made massive leaps in the right direction.

I have written many blogs for St Mungo’s and this one is about my plans to reconnect with my distant uncle, Henry Grattan, and see how I can follow in his footsteps.  He was my 6th great uncle and he was a founder of the Irish Parliament in Dublin under British rule.

My mother always showed me his tombstone in Westminster Abbey, and his statue in Westminster Hall (that’s us together in the picture) when we were in Westminster but she never told me what he actually did.

It was not until I was in a session with my psychotherapist that she suggested that I might have inherited some of his skills. I have always had an interest in current affairs and have volunteered with the campaigns team for three years.

Having explained all this I have decided to take a few days holiday in Dublin where he lived, so I can learn more about my distant uncle. I hope that it will help me to think of better ways to explain things in a more effective way.  I have not decided how to get to Dublin, but I will probably go by train and ferry.

I have met many clients of St Mungo’s who have reconnected with their family, relatives or friends and they were pleased that they did; I hope this will be the case for me as a starter.

I am looking forward to this trip and reconnecting with my family tree as well a short break will help me to be more active next year.

I wish all readers of this blog a happy Christmas and a happy New Year.



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