*Name and image have been changed to protect identity

When I lived at home there was a lot of conflict between myself, my mother and my younger sibling. We all had our own mental health problems so when we were together we’d clash a lot and have a lot of arguments. At times tempers would flare. Things that would probably seem quite petty became major.

I used to feel like my whole family was collapsing under so much pressure and I couldn’t do anything about it. I felt hopeless because I thought it was my job to fix things and solve all our problems.

Before moving into Ty Crouch with Llamau, I tried living with my older sibling but that didn’t work out so I moved home again. Mum tried to be supportive but because I was quite independent and she was head of the house, we continued to fight. In the end we both made the decision that I should move out.

I was already attending Llamau’s Step Into Education classes, so I asked my Tutor if there was any help I could apply for and thankfully there was. Ty Crouch had just opened and I was the first person to move in, which was nice. I was able to find my feet and the staff here gave me the time to feel nervous and figure things out by myself but they made sure I knew they were there if I needed them. It felt like a home.

I was able to pick my own bedroom because I moved in first. I love my room here. It’s so spacious and nice. I’ve been able to put up my pictures, photographs and paintings, and fairy lights to make it my own.

I love living here. Everyone who lives here gets on well. Sometimes we play board games and then other times we cook together or watch films. We had a great time carving pumpkins together. We’re like an extended family. I am often asked for advice because I’m the oldest but being 18 I can admit that my advice shouldn’t always to be listened to let alone followed!

We’ve all had our struggles because of Covid but it has brought us closer. Covid has separated us all from friends and family so we’ve all sought comfort in each other’s company to help us through.