I was in a dark place in my head. I had a difficult home life and after my mum died I was suffering a lot from grief.
I messed up at work and got fired. I didn’t realise it at the time but I was crying out for attention. I lost my home and because I’d fallen out with my dad, I couldn’t stay with him so I was homeless and living on the streets. It was very scary.
I finally got a place in a hostel and I was there for two years. Towards the end I was living in their move-on accommodation which is supposed to get you ready for independent living. I didn’t really feel ready to be completely independent, I felt like I still needed support but they had a two year limit. So when Transform came up it was ideal!
"I got myself prepared and I just got it done – I felt on top of the world!"
Staff from Transform came to interview me at the hostel, I went to view the property and then they asked me when I wanted to move in! It was the first time I’d had a flat on my own and it was brilliant. It meant I could just shut my front door, forget the world and just leave any issues I had outside. Where I was previously you had to fight to use the kitchen, but with Transform I had my own space which meant I could cook whenever I liked!
The support I got from Transform was the best safety net I could have had. I was given this amazing opportunity to live an independent life but knew that there was someone at the other end of the phone if I needed them.
In the beginning they helped me with setting up my bills and things but they’ve also helped me with my mental health issues. When there are sudden changes I get very anxious but the staff have helped me a lot with that. Before I moved to Transform I self-harmed a lot, after I moved in I only did it a handful of times, and I haven’t done it for ages which is really good.
I’ve always had a problem with speaking to people on the phone that I don’t know – it really freaks me out. The first time I had to do it I had someone sat with me so that if I did freak out I could just pass the phone over and they could explain, but I didn’t need to. Since then my confidence in phoning people has skyrocketed and I feel really calm about those sorts of things now.
Transform has also helped improve my confidence so much. Little things like the Transform BBQs – I’ve never been much of a socialiser, I stick to a small crowd of people and that’s it. But at the BBQs they encourage you to talk to other people and get involved.
"The support I got from Transform was the best safety net I could have had."
So now I’m feeling good. I have a fantastic relationship with my dad, he’d do anything for me and I’d do anything for him. I’m looking to get back into work and maybe do some volunteering – I’d like to do something which helps other people.
I’ve moved-on from Transform now but when I first moved in here I had a problem with my water. I thought ‘ok, I’ve got to phone the housing repairs team’. I got myself prepared and I just got it done – I felt on top of the world!
Mandy, Crissy's Keyworker
When I started supporting Chrissy she had been living with Transform for two years and she presented as quite unconfident and anxious. It took a while for me to gain Chrissy’s trust because at first she was reluctant to talk to me as I was new and she said she felt she was in a dark place.
To get to know her we used to go for walks. Chrissy seemed to find it easier to talk about her concerns when we were out as it was informal. Gradually her anxiety decreased and her confidence grew to the extent that one day I said to her ‘have you thought about moving on?’ She said she was ready and as she was already registered on the local council housing register we were able to arrange for her to start bidding very quickly. We started looking at the council bidding site in our weekly meetings so Chrissy became familiar with the process. Chrissy became confident to enter her own bids and one day said ‘I’ve got a viewing’ then ‘I’ve been offered a flat.’ Luckily for Chrissy the process was quite quick.
I supported Chrissy with the practical side of organising her move and setting up paying bills in her new home. She didn’t have any furniture, so we (Transform) were able to give her a grant so she could buy a fridge-freezer, which was great.
Chrissy was a pleasure to work with and always friendly and reliable in attending our meetings. Hopefully with her increased confidence she will start volunteering so she can meet new people.
I saw how the support I provided really helped Chrissy grow in confidence. Helping her successfully move on to live in her own flat has been very satisfying and makes me think ‘that’s what this job is all about’.