Young person smiling on bed in student halls

Daman’s Story: Finding the right support

During Lockdown, Daman* had to leave his family home in the middle of his A-Levels when his mum's alcoholism made it impossible for him to focus on his education. Since coming to Centrepoint, he has developed his independence and has moved on to University.

Nowhere safe to stay during the pandemic

When Daman* became homeless during the pandemic, he found himself in crisis. He had no other family members in the area and nobody to turn to for help. He couldn’t go to London to stay with family.

He had been asking around his mates to see if there was anywhere else he could stay, but most said no due to lockdown.

“My closest mates’ parents all said no which surprised me. It hurt a bit. I can understand where they were coming from because of Covid, but I had nowhere to go and to see a child in a really bad state, I thought they might have helped me. I just realised that you can’t expect too much from other people, especially during these difficult times.”

Thankfully, another friend of his talked to his parents and they said he could stay until he found somewhere else. The eldest brother was away at university so Daman was able to stay in his room. The parents had their DBS checks done and Daman was able to move in shortly afterwards.

Referred to Centrepoint

After a few months, Daman’s social worker got in touch to let him know that she’d found him a place at Centrepoint. He remembers feeling a bit scared when he first arrived as it was a new environment, but the staff and other young people made him feel comfortable.

Daman says that everyone was really friendly at Centrepoint. Carol, his key worker, really helped him to move forwards.

“The staff got everything sorted for me, they're really nice. They've done everything possible for me,” he enthuses.

“When I was living at home, I couldn’t really do anything for myself. I could make beans on toast but that was pretty much it. Now I can take care of myself, cooking and cleaning and so on. I was really worried about cooking for myself because I like to eat, but I learnt how to cook for myself.”

“I just want to say thanks for how hard they’ve worked. They’ve picked me up and I’ve learnt so many different things, I really didn’t think I’d get this far. I was really struggling when I came here. The staff just picked me up and taught me all these different things. They’re always really supportive, they’ve always been there if I need to speak to someone. There’s no judgement. Whatever is on your mind, whatever you’re worried about, they’re just there to listen or give advice,”

Advice to others

And what would he say to someone in a similar situation?

“Be patient, it’ll work out. I say that to myself even now.”

Daman is in his first year at university where he is doing a foundation year in Politics. he is hoping to go on to study journalism. 

He's really enjoying life at university and says that his time at Centrepoint gave him the independence to make a smooth transition.

"Because I moved out when I was 16, I know how to do things for myself. It was more building a social circle here, but that hasn't been too hard. I've made lots of new friends and have settled in well. I'm really enjoying it," he says.

During the duration of his time at university, he will be supported by the Centrepoint Bursary. He says having this extra fund has allowed him to be more financially stable and means he doesn't have to rely solely on student finance. 

Daman is using some of the bursary money to save up for a bike so that he can use it to travel to university.

We wish Daman lots of luck with his studies and the next stage of his journey.

*names have been changed