I can’t explain how or why I made the decisions I did to get to this, but by the age of 15 my life was all over the place. I never knew if I was coming or going. In the middle of doing my GCSEs I was drinking regularly and using drugs. Most days I missed school – I’d wake up late and then not bother to go in. I would go in to town all day and not come home at the time agreed with mum and would just regularly stay at my friend’s house. Whatever rules were set in front of me I never abided by them.

Due to my heavy drinking and drug intake I was taken into hospital and had to stay there for seven weeks. While in hospital, I was referred to Action for Children by my social worker because of my home situation and substance use. I wasn’t getting along with my mum and I was at the risk of being homeless, which was really scary, but another part of me wasn’t afraid. I thought I was invincible and that nothing could happen to me.

Due to my heavy drinking and drug intake I was taken into hospital and had to stay there for seven weeks.
leanne

My mum didn’t know how to cope with me anymore and arranged for me to live with my dad but he had his own family and kids so there wasn’t much room. I was going back and forth from his to my friend’s house. I stopped going to school and everything was just a mess. People were sick of me staying and I was really close to being homeless. I was lucky that I was referred to Action for Children, because if it wasn’t for them, I would have probably ended up on the streets.

They helped me with overcome my substance and alcohol misuse and helped develop and re-build the relationship with my mum. I was able to stay with her until I saved enough money to rent my own place as we felt living independently was best to maintain our new relationship. I fell pregnant shortly after my 17th birthday. Action for Children were there for me again and helped in so many ways. I attended a parenting course as being a new mum, I needed all the help I could get. I attended a cooking course so that I could learn to make us healthy meals and a Barclay’s Money Skills course in partnership with Action for Children which helped me to budget effectively.

I’m 18 now and I feel so good. The support I received has been life changing and the relationship I have with my mum now is just brilliant.

With everything that I went through I also had really low self-esteem, so I did a course on self-value and self-worth and how I could develop my relationship more with my mum. I’m 18 now and I feel so good. The support I received has been life changing and the relationship I have with my mum now is just brilliant. I now understand things from her point of view and Action for Children brings me and my mum together to talk and work on our relationship each week.

If I hadn’t received the help I did from Action for Children, my life would be totally different. If I kept to my old ways I wouldn’t have been able to look after my little girl and may not be here now. Anyone can make mistakes or the wrong choices in life but there can be light at the end of the tunnel - Action for Children have showed me that. I am looking to go back into education soon so I can build the best future for my daughter. I’ve been given so many opportunities and incredible support through Action for Children that I now volunteer for them every Wednesday as a ‘young ambassador’. I’ve managed to turn my life around and would really like to inspire others too.

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