We have helped so many young people improve their circumstances and move on to independent living.
Below are some of our residents’ stories.
Names have been changed to protect individuals’ identities.
James had been living with his mum locally when she became gravely ill. When she passed away he was told he would not be able to stay in the home he had shared with her for many years. It was felt he would not cope at this point on his own due to his Asperger’s. His family support worker brought him to Cirencester Housing for Young People. James was extremely introverted when he arrived. His long hair covering his face. At first, he spent a lot of time in his room but little by little he began to trust his key worker and was soon an important member of the household.
In the past James had tried going to college but unfortunately, it had not worked out. At CHYP he was soon taking classes like yoga, mindfulness and confidence building. He regularly went with staff and residents to the sports centre and was known for his immaculately tidy room. One day James had his hair cut short, he looked so different, he was no longer hiding behind his hair. With support James secured himself voluntary employment in a charity shop. It was time to move to CHYP’s moving on house. With less support and more responsibility James proved he could cope, and with help from his key worker secured independent housing locally. James became a friend and support to other residents and staff.
James has now moved into his own place, but he is not on his own he is part of CHYP. We will still be here for him should he need us, and he will always be welcome
Beccy’s story is similar to that of many young people we help. Beccy, aged 23, was forced to move back to her parents’ home following a relationship breakdown.
She suffered from bipolar disorder and her relationship with her family became very strained as she found it impossible to fit back in. She was accepted by CHYP and started working immediately with her key worker.
Initially, she was unable to work or attend college, due partly to her illness, but with guidance and support, she started to grow in confidence and made steps towards her personal goals. Beccy says “before CHYP, my life was going nowhere”. But now, three years later, she is moving forward in life, living independently in her own flat and working.
When Rachel moved in to CHYP. Rachel’s parents had separated and both had moved away leaving Rachel to fend for herself. Rachel felt the only reason her Dad had let her stay as long as he had was so that he could claim the Child Benefit. Rachel was highly intelligent and decided she was not going to let her circumstances stop her from getting an education. She went to study at Cirencester College.
Rachel’s key worker at CHYP soon realised that Rachel had some unusual patterns of behaviour and was becoming obsessed with her studies. She was not always eating regularly or looking after herself. During her time at CHYP, Rachel was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of high functioning Autism. With ongoing support from her key worker, Rachel worked hard and gained a place not just at any university but at Cambridge University.
Anna had been in care since the age of 12 due to serious neglect and had already had 20 foster homes before she arrived at CHYP. As a well-behaved child she was often moved to make way for someone more challenging. Not only had she been through this she had OCD, PTSD, and a medical condition affecting the joints but Anna never gave up she had decided to make something of her life.
Having left the care system at 16 she was quite a distance from Cirencester Collage where she was studying her A levels. Anna had her sights set on Oxford University and needed three A’s to get in. The College knew she had the ability but just needed the time and support to do this. CHYP was approached to fulfil this role providing not just accommodation but emotional support as well as more practical support with books, travel appointments and with Anna’s health issues.
Anna worked tirelessly and achieved what she had set out to do, gaining a place at Oxford University. She is hoping to work for the United Nations.
Donny was 19 when he found himself homeless with no family to support him.
He started getting involved with drugs and alcohol and didn’t know how to turn his life around. He came to CHYP, and with advice and guidance, things started to turn around for him.
He is now holding down a job, doesn’t use drugs or depend on alcohol, and now has the support of CHYP 24 hours a day. Donny says that the staff at CHYP are his friends and family. “Without CHYP, I really don’t know where I would be now”.
Daniel found himself at the age of 17 struggling to cope on his own in Cirencester.
He came to CHYP lacking in confidence and with very low self-esteem, but working closely with his key worker helped him change this.
He soon became a more confident young man with a good circle of friends. He initially volunteered in the CHYP Charity Shop, giving him valuable shop experience, which has lead to him eventually getting a full time job at Tesco. Now he will be looking to move into his own place.
Louise was only 17 when the relationship with her family completely broke down to the point where she found herself on the verge of being homeless. She came to CHYP feeling lost and with a sense of hopelessness.
Although Louise already had a job, she didn’t know how to look after herself at home. She didn’t know how to use a kettle, toaster or microwave, and therefore couldn’t prepare herself a meal. She didn’t know how to clean her clothes or take care of where she lived.
At CHYP, she had cooking classes so she could prepare a meal for herself. She learnt about budgeting and paying household bills. She then moved to our moving on house as she progressed with her ability to live independently.
Aside from the practical skills she learnt, she became much more confident and happier in herself. She learnt to appreciate and live with other people. With CHYP’s support, Louise has matured into a well-rounded young woman on her way to independent living.