I know I have a long way to go, but I’m starting to feel really good about myself.

I grew up in Cardiff with my Mum. My childhood was very chaotic and difficult. As a result, I started using alcohol as early as 11 years old. Looking back, I realise this was a sort of coping mechanism, something to help me with all the problems that I was experiencing at home.

My behaviour in school became very challenging for the teachers and I spent a lot of time in isolation. This really affected my learning and I was not able to reach my potential as I misbehaved so much.

I was placed in foster care at the age of 13, and was moved around a lot as things didn’t always work out in my placements. I lived in 5 separate homes over the next few years, and in many locations around South Wales. This led to a great deal of insecurity for me.

I felt as though I had no future, that I would not achieve anything or have anything to look forward to in my life.

Earlier this year, I moved into a Llamau project house. My bedroom is lovely and the staff are so supportive and friendly. I get on well with the other young people and I know I am well liked by everyone.  It really feels like home.

Since moving to Llamau, I have a sense of independence and can look forward to the future for the first time. I’m treated like a grown up.

Everyone at the project receives regular donations of toiletries from Beauty Banks. These donations really help, as I would really struggle to afford these items on my own.

My support worker is amazing. She is wonderful, always there to help me and encourage me and nothing is ever too much trouble. I have now started at Step into Education and my relationship with my Mum is the best it’s been for as long as I can remember.

I know I have a long way to go, but I’m starting to feel really good about myself.

*Names and images have been changed