Keith was embarking on a long, tedious journey from his home town in Y Wladfa, South America to start a new life at Yorkshire Wildlife Park with his family and friends, when his anxiety and difficulties with mental health began.
Leo, the alpha lion of the pack, had assigned Keith to a coach without his friends and family from home. Keith knew that he was often shy at home, and he knew that he needed to start socialising with others he didn’t know so well. He knew that this would prepare him for meeting all of the new animals he was about to start living with at Yorkshire wildlife park, but he wasn’t ready for this. The animals on the coach with him were nasty and cruel, and they bullied Keith because of his differences.
When he stopped at the services with his peers from the zoo, Keith was a little bit too slow at the services. He took longer than all of his peers to go to the toilet, buy his food and make his coffee.
When Keith arrived back at the car park to get back on the coach and embark on the last leg of his journey, he was slightly late and the coach had left without him. At home, back in South America, he was often slow and late for things, but people just accepted him for who he was.
When the coach unfortunately left without him, Keith was left alone at the Sheffield services. He was lonely and isolated, with nobody to talk to.
It was then that Keith was approached by Paul, from No Panic Sheffield. Paul took him in, looked after him and supported him through his education. Keith discovered that he had a passion for maths and science, and he is now a grown up student, studying aerospace engineering at Sheffield university.
However, Keith often struggles because he is a little slow to process things. He gets anxious and worried about not being able to keep up with everybody else on his course.
After the traumatic experience and bullying that Keith experienced while travelling to Sheffield, he now worries a lot about travelling on his own, making new friends, and being left out.
Keith is now a regular member of No Panic Sheffield’s support groups where he is valued and supported by likeminded people who try to understand his differences rather than mocking him for them. Keith is able to take life at his own pace these days, even managing to visit his friends and family that made it all the way to Yorkshire Wildlife Park who are all very proud of him.