I was first referred to my Support Worker, Kathryn, because I needed support with my mental health. At the time things were bad at home. My mum was receiving support from Llamau because her ex-boyfriend was abusive towards her. He was abusive towards me and my sister too.

At first he was nice but then he showed how horrible he was. He’d always be nasty to me and then turn on my mum when she’d try and stand up for me. I remember having a full on fight with him once, which now I can reflect on and wonder why he thought it was ok to have a physical fight with a little girl. He ended up kicking us all out of the house so we had to move into a family hostel. We only had one bedroom between us, which was probably the size of a main bedroom in a house. We had to share our bathroom and kitchen with other families, which at times could be grim. We lived at the hostel for about two years and it was really hard.

We were always on top of each other and had no privacy. My mental health got worse because we had money problems so I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything, which none of my friends seemed to understand so I lost friends. I really didn’t like my life and felt like everything upset me. To make things worse my mum’s visa had run out so she didn’t have the right to remain here anymore.

It scared me that I might actually lose her and I’d be alone or worse. My mental health hit a real low so that’s when Kathryn stepped in to support me. When I first started working with Kathryn I’d just left school but didn’t really know what I wanted to do next. I went on to sixth form but found the work hard, which made me feel worse so I stopped going. Kathryn helped me get back into education but I did decide to leave again. I’d missed the deadline to apply to colleges so Kathryn helped me look for a job.

I knew I wanted to work and do something with my time but just needed a little help. Kathryn would sit with me and help me with my CV and job applications. She even sat with me when I had video calls and online questions. I did get offered a job and I’m still working now, which makes me happy. Kathryn is really nice and easy to get along with. When we meet and talk it literally feels like a chat with a friend rather than anything formal. Formal doesn’t work for me because I use humour as a bit of a coping mechanism.

I’m told I’m quite sarcastic. I did try counselling sessions, which Kathryn helped organise for me through my Doctor but Covid led to them being cancelled. Llamau have another service that offers counselling so Kathryn referred me to them instead. I started meeting regularly with Jamie. He was also surprisingly easy to talk to. He never made me feel bad about the fact I would make a joke about things.

I know this might sound a bit dark but I no longer want to kill myself thanks to their help. These days I try to think about what I can change rather than getting upset about what I can’t.

With Llamau’s help my mum’s visa is almost sorted now and we’ve been able to move into our new home together this year. And, thankfully I have my own bedroom.