“I’m 17. My mum left when I was two. Me and my dad never got on. We were arguing all the time and I kept running away.
I never wanted to be in the house, I hated it. I felt happier outside, staying in tents, away from my dad. When I was 14 I went to live with one of my friends but then when I left school I couldn’t stay there anymore.
The council offered me different options but SASH stood out. If I’d gone into a hostel I’d have to mix with other people, and I didn’t want that because I’d end up going into the wrong crowds doing stupid stuff. That’s happened before.
I went to look at the house and meet my host and a week later I moved into Supported Lodgings. When I first stepped inside the house it felt good. My host is lively, funny, she’s nice. It didn’t feel strange moving in with someone I didn’t know. I’ve had worse times than that. It was a lot easier than staying on the streets or in a tent.
Once I was in SASH everything just changed. Before I was smoking, I used to get into fights, I don’t do that now. I moved here and I stopped everything.
I wasn’t working when I moved in so I went to YH Training and did the Prince’s Trust Team course for 12 weeks. Then did a work placement and now I’m doing my MPC*. It’s four days a week. I’m learning military knowledge and field craft. We go away on exercises, learn how to put up bashes, make a fire, make our own food.
I’ve always been interested in the army, I wanted to join the Royal Marines but I couldn’t get my running time fast enough. So I’ve changed my application to the infantry and I’m hoping if I get in there I can transfer to the Royal Marines.
In my spare time I run, I go to the gym, stay healthy. I never knew how to cook before. I learnt that from my host. I do things like mince with mash potato and Yorkshire pudding, chilli con carne.
Things are going good, so much better than before. There’s nothing I miss about my old life. It dragged me down all the time. I’m a lot happier with the way it is now. I’ve seen a big change in myself.
Now I feel like I’m more alive, I’m back to my original self. I’ve just pushed through everything that has happened and I’ve made it a lot better.
My host has helped, my friends have been really supportive. Going to MPC college and doing something that I actually want to do has made a big difference.
For someone in same situation as me, I would recommend Supported Lodgings. It doesn’t matter what kind a person you are, you can achieve a lot more in SASH. I would tell them to get their head down and stop messing with the wrong crowd, so you can achieve something with your life.
Without SASH I don’t know what I would have done. I’m close to achieving something that I want to do, if I’d stayed where I was I wouldn’t be doing that.”
*Military Preparation Course