I'm 22 now and I have my own home. I'm happy and working full time, but I'd like to go back to college and study horticulture.

I was just 17 when I first became homeless. I was being bullied at school but I couldn’t speak to my family about it, which led to our relationship breaking down. It affected my self-esteem really badly, I just had to get out of the house.

I moved in with my girlfriend’s family, but it wasn’t going to work long term – we soon broke up, and I had nowhere to live.

I found myself sleeping under the bandstand of the local park. I lived there, off and on, for six months. I felt so unsafe while I was sleeping rough, there were much older people using drugs near to where I was sleeping.

I managed to attend school every day, even though I had to use the river to wash my clothes. My food mainly came from bins, and for three months, my only hot meal would be because of my Saturday shift at the local chip shop.

I became homeless while I was doing my GCSEs, which I passed, but being homeless meant it was impossible to study for my A-Levels. I just didn’t know how to tell anyone that I had nowhere to go.

Eventually, it was my ex-girlfriend’s mother who told my school, and from there my head teacher got Llamau involved.

Llamau gave me a safe place to live, and helped me get into college. It wasn’t just about putting a roof over my head, Llamau made me feel safe. I felt more positive about my future for the first time in ages.

I’m 22 now and I have my own home. I’m happy and working full time, but I’d like to go back to college and study horticulture. I want to be a landscape gardener.

I can’t thank Llamau enough. Llamau really saved my life. 

*Names and photos have been changed