I’m 16. I’ve been in SASH for about six months.

When I was 11 my mum died, and when I was 12 my dad died. It was tough, but it happens. Nothing you can do about it.

After my mum died I became the carer for my dad, who was disabled. I’d come home from school, cook his meals, every Sunday I’d sort all his pills out.

When he died I went to live with my half-sister. I’d still come home and cook my own tea, do my own washing and washing up. I was with her just under three years but we didn’t have a good relationship and it just got the point where she asked me to leave.

I moved in with a friend’s grandma. I stayed there for six months, but she had her own grandchildren to look after.

My whole high school life was a bit disrupted. In Year 7 I lost my mum, in year 8 I lost my dad. In year 9 I was still grieving, my behaviour deteriorated and I didn’t take my work seriously. I didn’t get as good grades as I would have liked. I started a course at college but wasn’t enjoying it so I stopped. Now I’m working full time.

When SASH was suggested to me I felt I was ready for that. I’m quite an independent person. I thought I would try Supported Lodgings for one month to decide whether or not it was right for me but it only took me a week. I just felt comfortable and I could see myself making progress here.

I’d like to be better at managing my money, and I think this is helping me. I’ve got a full time job, the money goes straight into my bank, and then I know I need to pay for different things, food shopping and so on, so it’s helping me to budget. I like making my own food again. I’m also paying rent, which I’ve never done before, but I don’t mind that.

Since I’ve been living here, I still have my days where everything seems to get to me, but everyone has bad days. I’ve got my own space here, which I didn’t have before. It’s my own room, my own personal space. I get on really well with my host.

“I just felt comfortable and I could see myself making progress here”

In September I’m off back to college to get some qualifications.  Without SASH, I wouldn’t have had as much choice in what I do, I would have been unhappy. I’ll stay as long as I can, get as much support as I can.

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