“You guys helped me turn my life around. You’ve helped me get a roof over my head and get on track with my mental health by getting the help I need. If I didn’t have you guys, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My accommodation was saying they were going to kick me out which would have meant sleeping on the streets, which is so bad for my mental health.”
Amelia first came to the Clock Tower Sanctuary in 2020 as they were on a last chance warning with their accommodation. She was due to be made homeless as she was struggling to engage with services and had undiagnosed mental and physical health issues. She had a long arrest record and was at severe risk of exploitation and domestic abuse.
How has Clock Tower Sanctuary helped you?
“Before I started coming here, I was on my last chance with my accommodation and struggling to keep hold of it. Clock Tower helped me sort out some stressful situations and to understand what the council and other organisations were saying. I don’t think I could have done that on my own given how my mental health was at the time. “
At CTS we saw a different Amelia. Although initially reluctant to engage with professional health services, with the support from her caseworker, she received formal diagnoses in January 2022 and is now managing their mental health and physical care well. She has engaged with casework, mostly informal as her learning difficulties mean short, solution focused sessions tend to be the most beneficial, offering validating interventions. Recently, she got involved with volunteer interviews, overcoming anxieties and showing applicants around the day centre. She also continues to make the most of health and wellbeing activities offered at the day centre such as small, safe gendered talking groups, several life skills training sessions such as CV writing and interview prep as well as every fun Friday activity she can get to.
What would you say are your main achievements at CTS?
“Just asking for the help and support I’ve needed my entire life.”
Amelia’s hard work over the past year has paid off in the last couple of months. With a new sense of self-confidence and worth, she has begun volunteering 3 days a week at Fareshare as part of Fareshare Futures and has successfully sustained accommodation ever since she started engaging with our service. One day, she aspires to go to college to study childcare. She has also become a positive role model for other clients in the centre and, without recognising it, she often offers others peer support.
Below are a few quotes from a list written by Amelia in a case-working session as an exercise to remind her how far she has come and details what she feels she has achieved over the past year.
Amelia’s Achievements AT C.T.S
I can manage my anger better and don’t fight any more.
I still worry about showering but now I can talk about it and try to make it better.
I feel safer in my accommodation and have managed to keep it for the longest time ever.
I am sleeping better, eating better and engaging with my GP and mental health.
I really pushed myself to be involved in the volunteer interviews at CTS, asking them questions and showing them around even though I was anxious.
All this has made me feel more confident and I want to keep doing it because I love the new me!
If CTS didn’t exist, what would life be like?
“It just wouldn’t have changed. I’d still be getting into trouble with my accommodation or the police and not talking to anybody properly. I’m so glad you guys have been here for me to help with mental health and housing.”