My world fell apart when my dad walked out when I was only 10

We had to move house and I had to change schools. I was so angry with Mum for making us move and making us leave our friends behind.

I found it really hard to settle at my new school and before long I was being bullied. My behaviour got worse and worse at school, and by the time I was 11, I had been expelled and had to go to behavioural units instead. Eventually it all became too much for my mum to cope with and I had to leave home.

Llamau found me a place in the SAFE house but I found it really difficult to settle there too and behaved really badly. I though the staff would just throw me out, but they were really patient and understanding. They explained that my behaviour would have to change if I wanted to carry on living in the house. Looking back, I wish I'd taken their advice straight away, but I just wasn't ready at the time, and I decided to move back in with my mum.

At first things were awful - me and mum just couldn't get along but Llamau hadn't given up on me. They suggested that I work with their EMPHASIS project. The project worked with both me and my family to help me to understand and cope with the issues I had with them. I learned so much about myself, especially how to manage relationships better. 

Llamau gave me another chance. I moved into another one of their project houses and I've been there ever since. This time, I settled in much more quickly and I really didn't want to make the same mistakes again. I'm still living at Llamau's project and am in college and training to become a chef. I'm really proud of the progress I've made and am looking forward to living independently in the future. 

Without support from Llamau I would now be living on the streets - I came pretty close a few years ago, and don't think anyone should have to come close to that. 

*Names and photos have been changed