Lynne, 18, left her family home after finding out about her mother’s affair, which led to their relationship breaking down. She stayed for a time with her sister, but when her sister became pregnant, space became too tight and she had to move on. She was offered supported accommodation at Depaul UK. Now, having gained confidence and new life skills at through Depaul UK, she’s moving into a council property and focusing on the future.

“I was 17 when I left home, quite young. Things had started getting a bit tight, living at my mum’s house. I was clashing with my mum. Me, my brothers and sisters, we were all brought up by one dad. My dad, while he’s at work, my mum’s out meeting this other guy, then we come along, me and my little brother. My dad loves her that much, he stays with her. He brought us up knowing that we wasn’t his, raised us like we was his. He’s the one who’s there for us. I suspected but I didn’t find out until I was 18. It crushed me. She and my dad have broken up now, but my dad still does all the stuff around the house. It’s hard to be lied to for so long. Sometimes being around her just angers me. Our relationship turned a bit toxic and I was never happy, so I tried to go and live with my sister.

“It was all going great, for six months, but then she and her boyfriend got pregnant. She needed more space, so instead of me going back to our mum’s with the arguments, the stress and tears, I went to a housing advice charity and that’s how I got on to Depaul. Instead of messing about, I just came to Depaul Safestop [Depaul UK’s accommodation services for under-18s].

“I’ve been in Depaul Safestop now for about four or five months. I arrived two days before Christmas. Everyone’s having Christmas dinner round the table, so I bounce in, start digging at the food. Met everyone on the day who lives in the house. It was alright. I’ve kept myself to myself and the weeks have flew by.

I got to try go-karting. That was fun. I’ve learnt things, for instance, how to live independently, cooking, washing, bills. It made me realise you actually have to pay bills. With Depaul, they made me realise about life, a lot more seriously. Helped me understand about bills, college, work. Got me on track, got me grants for clothing, food and gym. Go every day three days a week and it feels great, feel mint. They do help you.

“And I’m moving out now. I went to the housing office and I said, “What I realistically need is an independent flat”. I got a phone call the other week saying that my flat’s come up. At the moment it’s getting new carpets down, getting painted, so when I move in I should have a nice cosy home. I want a house, I want a job. I want my driving licence. Future starts, some babies come along, get married. I just want what everyone else wants in life, really.”

  • Please note that stand-in photography and pseudonyms may have been used to protect the identity of this client.
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