I had suffered from domestic violence/physical abuse, emotional and physical, from my family and the local community since as young as the age of 3.

The abuse was so bad that by the time I started university, I was attending classes with broken bones and stab wounds.  I was studying social work, although I was well on my way to build a successful career in the field of child protection I had not dealt with my own problems.

I finally managed to have the courage to leave home and I moved into university accommodation.  I was doing well with my studies at first but eventually a lifetime of emotional trauma surfaced and I didn’t cope so well.  I was suffering from depression and suicidal tendancies with over 50 attempts at taking my own life in just 8 months.

Due to an eating disorder that I had developed along the way I had spent all my savings and had no source of income resulting in me surviving on one bowl of porridge every 3 days for a period of 6 weeks.  I was starving and was unfit to carry on as a student social worker which then led to me becoming homeless as the university were about to evict me.

I got in touch with the Salvation Army and they provided me with food parcels which I needed and they also referred me to Stay.

It was a waiting game and I was very anxious as to whether I would be evicted and would have to sleep rough or whether Stay would be able to help me in time.

I remember one day thinking to myself that I had spent one day with the luxury of owning a new iphone and now I am starved and ill – I was standing in a shop at the time, staring at a reduced price bread roll for 9 pence hoping that someone would buy it for me.

Eventually Stay got in touch and I moved into a shared house and today I live in my own flat with Stay.

Stay have done more than just providing me with housing; Stay saved my life and provided me with the space to recover from my past and has given me a second chance at life!

I am looking towards a positive future now and I hope to inspire others like Stay has inspired me.

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