Leah*

Sometimes people need a team around them before they manage their own home, which is why we run several supported accommodation projects. Leah and her daughter live at our Elizabeth House project.

I came here because I had nowhere else to go.

I was 16 when I fell pregnant and it was terrifying. I’ve only ever had one boyfriend and I was barely a woman. My mum helped me out a lot but she has bipolar disorder and when her health went downhill again I went to live with my boyfriend’s family.

It was so crowded that I began to sofa surf with friends. I was frightened that social services would get involved and my health nurse suggested I come to Elizabeth House.

I was nervous at first and worried about living with other people but now I’ve been here for more than two years and I don’t want to leave.

The staff here are really special – they were lovely from the start. I used to fly off the handle if they tried to help me but now I try to take their advice. They’ve helped me with budgeting, because I used to just spend my money all at once, and they helped me sort out my benefits. I didn’t know I was allowed anything.

They also taught me to cook and how to keep my room nice.

I want a part-time job when my daughter starts nursery. I want to start there and build it up. I’d like a place of my own and I’d like to manage on my own for at least a year before I live with my boyfriend. I want to be able to look after myself and rely on myself. I look back and it could all have been different.

I could have had my daughter taken off with me. But I didn’t, she’s with me, and she’s a really friendly, happy kid. I’m a confident mum now.

* Name has been changed

Aspire

Empower

Basis