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"[My Support Worker] Tracy has helped me feel less lonely. I know I’d be a lot worse off without her in my life."

I became homeless at 18 when my mam kicked me out. Things were really bad at the time but not between me and Mam, it was between me and my older brother. He has behavioural problems, which I’ve always tried to understand but he blames them for why he used to hit me.

When Mam would leave the house for work he’d always use that time to hit me and be aggressive. I’d tell Mam when she came home but she always took his side. I don’t really know why she always defended him but she did. It made me feel really depressed and anxious all the time. It was hard living there.

When Mam kicked me out I went to stay with my ex-boyfriend. He was already living in a supported accommodation because he had been homeless. One of the Support Workers saw me coming in and staying and asked me what was going on. She offered to help me.

She tried so hard to find me a place to stay but everywhere was full so I ended up living with my dad for about six weeks or so. I was then moved to a flat with another girl. We got on well and for a while things seemed better. My Support Worker at the time helped get me into college, which was good because I never thought I’d go into further learning after school.

When I moved into my new home, Tracy from Llamau took over my support. She’s been fabulous and wonderful to me. I am quite independent already but Tracy helped me move into my new home and get things set up. She’s also helped me a lot with my mental health. It can be quite up and down and I needed help from my GP but felt too nervous to contact them, so Tracy has done that for me and still does if I need her to.

My anxiety made me feel like I couldn’t continue with college, which Tracy understands but she has encouraged me to find something else rather than stop learning completely. I’m waiting to start a new course, which Tracy helped me sign up for. I’d really like to help other people who need the sort of help I’ve needed one day. I can use my own experience to connect with people.

My relationship with my mam has improved and she visits me once a week if she can. I make us a bit of food and we have a nice chat. The Coronavirus has caused us both a few issues though so obviously that’s not always the case anymore.

I’ve coped ok with the virus, lockdown and isolating. I like my own space, so I’m always sort of in my own bubble anyway, but Tracy has helped me feel less lonely. I know I’d be a lot worse off without her in my life.