News People we've supported Francesca's Story Llamau have helped me to move on with my life, and to have hopes for the future. My childhood was really tough. My mother had drinking issues and my father was abusive towards me. There were so many bad things going on when I grew up, but I didn’t know it was wrong until I was older. It affected me massively.I couldn’t go to school and I didn’t know how to socialise. I had no confidence, no self-esteem. I just felt like a shadow. I had no one to rely on, except myself. By the time I was 17, I felt like I had to leave home. I just couldn’t cope with living there anymore. That’s when I moved into one of Llamau’s houses. I wasn’t ready to live by myself and I still felt like I had lots of growing up to do – Llamau didn’t just give me a roof over my head, they looked after me and helped me to cope with everything that had happened to me. I hadn’t been to school for ages, and I’d reached the point where I didn’t feel like I was going to achieve anything. The thought of going back to school was terrifying – I have autism and I find socialising and big groups of people really difficult. But Llamau encouraged me to take part in their Step into Education programme, and that gave me the confidence to start college. I can’t imagine where I would be without Llamau’s support. They’ve helped me to move on with my life, and to have hopes for the future. At the moment, I really want to pass university and eventually I want to help people with their mental health. I just want to be happy. That’s the main thing in life, isn’t it? Just to be happy.