Ashleigh tells her story in her own words:
My name is Ashleigh and I’m 19 years old. When I was six my mam died of cancer and my whole family fell apart.
When I hit my teens, I started to act up quite a lot as I had so much anger and emotion built up inside of me about losing my mam. I lived with my auntie from the age of six but left when I was 15 as she wasn’t able to cope with my behaviour.
I stayed with my grandma for a year who used alcohol as a coping strategy for my mam's death. I didn’t manage to stay with her for long as we constantly argued and she was in no frame of mind to look after me. I turned to my friends and started sofa surfing.
Then I found Depaul Nightstop. It is an amazing service with some incredible hosts and staff members!
I used Nightstop for six weeks and I met some amazing hosts who really helped me come out of my comfort zone and they made me feel so welcome in their homes. I really started to realise how it felt to be a part of a family!
The Depaul staff were great. On the days where I was really down and felt like I couldn’t cope, they really helped me and kept me going!
I am now currently living on my own in a flat which is part of the Depaul North Tyneside Outreach Service, which means I can still access support when I need it.
I would love to say a massive thank you to all the staff at Depaul, as they are all still very supportive with me, and the donors who make their work possible,
I can honestly say I would not be the lady I am today if it wasn’t for Depaul!
* The image used with this story is for illustration and is not of the person featured.