My mum was an alcoholic and found life difficult to cope with. She left me and my dad when I was 3 but was in and out of my life over the next 6 years or so. My dad eventually met somebody else, and we moved in together. My new step mum had 4 sons and did not treat me well. She was emotionally abusive, and I used to go into school, and later Highlands, early and leave late in order to stay out of the family home as much as possible.
During this time, my mother suffered a medical emergency linked to her diabetes and alcoholism and was transferred to a facility in the UK. She later developed complications which led to her death 3 years ago.
I had a close relationship with an aunt who suggested JAYF when I told her about the situation at home with my step-mum who was threatening to kick me out.
Moving to JAYF was like having a weight lifted from me, I no longer had to worry about going home or a lack of privacy. I felt safe, happier and more confident and valued having someone available to talk to when I was feeling down or anxious. This helped me to finish my studies at Highlands and I am now working full-time at the hospital in a job that offers progression and opportunities. I am saving to move into independent accommodation in 2022.