Sunny Braitch set up Sky Blue Support, a non-profit organisations that has fed thousands of people across Coventry in 2021. But two months after setting up his charity, Mr Braitch experienced a “week from hell”.
Mr Braitch’s house was burnt down and he and his family were left homeless for five weeks and lived between hotels.
Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
In the same week, his beloved French Bulldog, Bongo – who he was training to become a therapy dog for end-of-life patients – was run over by a car.
But before the death of Bongo, Mr Braitch lost his grandad and to make matters worse, he was in a serious car accident.
He told Coventry Live: “There wasn’t anything to physically hold on to, my grandad went so did my dog, we lost all our memories.”
“I said to my dog ‘right it’s just me and you’. She was therapy for me, even at my darkest, when I was going through depression, she gave me hope, a reason to live.
“So unfortunately when she passed away, that was like my everything had gone, but a week later my house went in a fire.
“I was doing a lot of work with Sky Blue Support to help the homeless and then I became that person, which I still am now.
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“If I was going to crack, it should have been that week.”
Mr Braitch added he had to find ways to keep himself busy to avoid spiralling downwards.
He continued: “I have to keep busy otherwise I find that my mental health drops off.
“I have an anxiety disorder – I overthink everything.
“I don’t want to be thinking of something in front of the TV.
“I don’t really watch TV, I hardly go to the cinema, I just like to keep busy.
“I am quite an active person, so in the gaps that I do have, I go to the gym.
“I have done three half marathons, did a boxing event in 2016, just recently finished Strictly Come Dancing for Zoe’s Place.”
He said it gave him a purpose during the hardest of times, and is a strong advocate of seeking help for your mental health.
He said: “If I die tomorrow, I would die happy, or content, that I had paid my rent in life.”
Additional reporting by Naomi de Souza