Young People’s Stories
“My future is so much brighter and I have made stronger and lifelong friendships”
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S arrived at our Surrey centre in March 2020 just before the UK locked-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. S had a traumatic upbringing and left home for her own safety aged 15 having been a victim of grooming and sexual abuse.
After leaving home, S spent time travelling and working in bars, but also became addicted to hard drugs. This led to S being imprisoned for shoplifting on several occasions. It was whilst at HMP Send that Amber was recommended to S and she decided to spend the last part of her sentence as a tagged resident at Amber to try and move on from her troubled past. S commented: “I’d had enough, I was 26 and had been in and out of prison five times. I feel so lucky and blessed to have the chance to come to Amber to transform my life”.
When S left home, she also dropped out of school so never had the chance to gain any qualifications. Whilst at Amber, she made up for lost time and did a huge amount of online learning, not only completing her Level 3 Maths and English qualifications, but also other courses in subjects such as Food Hygiene, Understanding Autism, Understanding Motor Neurone Disease and Infection Control. During her time in prison, S was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. Amber runs workshops dealing with areas such as this, and S found the sessions on Anger Management, Dealing with Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder particularly useful.
S had this to say about her time at Amber “I craved stability and normality, but my normal was running away and taking drugs. But at Amber the routine, structure and stability was just what I needed. It’s like one big family, you get support from all the staff, but also from the other residents who can pick you up when you’re feeling low. The staff all bring different strengths and I learnt something from each of them which was great.”
S moved out in October 2020 and is now working in a local warehouse. She plans to continue with her studies and wants to gain her Level 3 Health and Social Care qualification within the next 18 months. Eventually, S would like to be a support worker at a facility such as Amber so that she can help people who are in the same position that she has been in.
If you would like to support young people like S to turn their lives around donate to our Crowdfunder today!