A BRAVE Greenock man who has battled back from the depths of despair is using his experience to help others in desperate need.

Mitchell McFarlane hit rock bottom in January after returning home to Greenock with 'nothing' having been living abroad for a spell.

The 38-year-old, of Smith Street, says only the care people showed him got him through - and he is now working as a barber and at college studying travel and tourism.

But he has also decided to give something back to help others who are struggling in life.

He has set up an online social media campaign called '1goodturn' on Instagram to encourage people to share their own personal experiences and raise awareness of the power of kindness.

Mitchell has been donating food and clothes to help people in need and later this month he will sleep rough on the streets of Glasgow.

All the money raised will be split between organisations working to combat homelessness, plus another that provides support to families affected by suicide.

Mitchell told the Tele: "I started this this after being at a very low point in my life.

"I struggled from the moment I woke up in the morning until being able to finally fall asleep.

"In these dark days people showed me care both personally and professionally.

"I wanted to be able to give that care back to anyone that may need it in anyway that I could."

Mitchell said he went through an awful time earlier this year after returning home to Greenock.

He said: "Up until January I had been living and working in Qatar .

"I had a fiancée and life was great but by January, I was back in Greenock with nothing at all.

"It was hard and I struggled massively."

Mitchell said the support he received helped him to get back on his feet.

He added: "I got support through people on social media and then I got professional help for how I was feeling.

"It was depression.

"It was good to talk and good to know that you're going to get past it."

Mitchell says his campaign to promote kindness is going well.

He said: "I started to make food parcels and go to Glasgow once a week and offer them to those on the streets.

"Over time I could see that there were more organised groups doing this, so I wanted to do something else to help in a different way.

"I turned to social media and started to ask for donations of unwanted clothing items that were in a reusable condition, so that I could take them to the same people I was trying to provide a service to before.

"The support I’ve had has been amazing and it's helped so many people - the same way the help I received slowly changed the amount of dark days that I was having."

Mitchell is now preparing to sleep rough for 24 hours after experiencing a similar situation himself.

He said: "When I was 19, my mum and step dad broke up and basically I was left on my own to fend for myself.

"There were nights that I slept in my car and I would sneak back into work and sleep in there.

"I know what it's like to not have the security of having a roof over your head.

"It was tough."

Mitchell hopes that sleeping rough from 4pm on Saturday November 30 until 4pm the following day will raise awareness of the problem.

He said: "I’ll have a sleeping bag and the clothes that I am wearing for warmth and that’s it.

"I will rely purely on the generosity of strangers to eat, drink and survive.

"I hope that by being exposed for 24 hours I can show people what it’s like to be totally vulnerable.

"I’m not expecting to change the world in 24 hours - I’m not that naive and know I’m not even scratching the surface but all I’m looking to do is use the dark days that I went through for something good."

Mitchell says the kindness and support shown to him by the Inverclyde community has been incredible.

He said: "I know Inverclyde and Greenock gets a bad name but the community has been so generous.

"I think we are a very caring community.

"Through 1goodturn I would like to give that care back to other people."

Mitchell is keen to thank his friend William McPherson and all the staff at Currys PC World in Greenock for supporting his clothing collection initiative.

He added: "William and the Currys guys have been great as they've provided me with space to store the clothes.

"The who work in the Tesco Extra petrol station in Port Glasgow have donated £100."