Black and white headshot of Kerry
15/05/15

“Hi my name is Kerry  and I’m a former client of The Wallich in Bridgend .

I came to live in Wales from Northern Ireland in July of 2010 through domestic violence.  When I first came to Wales I was in a Women’s Aid hostel for seven months before I got my own property for me and my two children.

I was extremely lonely and my children were living in squalor as I couldn’t afford to decorate or buy things for my home, I was in a desperate state of depression and had no one to turn to as I have no family in Wales.

I then met the man who was to turn out to be my now husband, but my life went downhill even more as he is an alcoholic. I ended up drinking with him and our problems just got worse. We were fighting to the point the police were called and social services were called for the safety of my children.

I was at my lowest ebb and ended up taking an overdose.  I just couldn’t see any way out at all.

Then I was lucky to start working with a fantastic network of people who just wanted to help me and they referred me to The Wallich and my life has just got better and better from then.

I was allocated a support worker from the floating support team named Ashely and she did amazing things for me. At one point social services had given me six months to change my home or my children would have been taken into care.

Ashley came on board and helped me apply for benefits that I was entitled to and helped me get grants to get flooring and normal things like wardrobes for my children.

But most of all she was there for me just to chat to if I just needed to scream at someone.

It was a long hard road at times, especially when I was going to my social service meetings. Just having Ashley there for support was a huge godsend for me and my children.

Then Ashley moved to another project and I was really worried in case I had no one to turn to, but I didn’t have to worry because my next support worker Siobhan just took over where Ashley left off.

The Wallich made changeovers of support workers as easy as possible for me.

As time went on I felt my confidence getting better so I decided I would like to do volunteer work and I was offered to do it in The Wallich. I then began to volunteer in the drop-in a couple of mornings a week.

The past year has been the hardest of my life but also the best. I never would have managed it without the support and help I received from floating support.

I can guarantee that I would be on the streets and my children would have been taken off me and placed into care.

And now a year on, I’m no longer a client. I’m a single mum now but it’s all the best for myself and my children.

I’m now volunteering three days a week with The Wallich and I enjoy every minute of it.

I never ever thought I would see me doing this, but the support and help I’ve had from floating support saved me and my family and I would really like to help people in similar circumstances .

Without the support and help from floating support I know I would not be where I am today.

I am now at point in my life where I can see a happy future for me and my children.

My confidence has soared tenfold and my children are happier than they have ever been all thanks to the help I have received. I can never thank them enough.

And even though I am no longer a client, the team are still there for me pushing me to my strengths and helping me achieve my goals.

Hopefully the next step now is to actually work for them as gratitude for everything they have done for me and my children and also help other families in the same situation that I was once in.”

 

Read more about how we prevent homelessness: Our Stories