Young person with long dark hair in an orange t-shirt against a white brick wall

Tania’s Story: Caring for others

Tania* was thrown out of her parents’ home after being subjected to verbal and emotional abuse. She sofa-surfed with a friend for a short period before being referred to Centrepoint, where she received the support she needed to move on to independence.

A challenging pandemic

Tania, 22, suffered verbal and emotional abuse at home, eventually being asked to leave in May 2020 during the pandemic. After sofa-surfing with a friend for a short period, the housing office put her in touch with Centrepoint, where she was offered a place. She was with Centrepoint for four months and now receives floating support to help with the transition.

Tania remembers that early period after being thrown out as being very lonely.

“I just felt all on my own. I was at college at the time and I was struggling a bit, but I was getting by. I just had one friend who was helping me – I was staying with her mum. I wasn’t really comfortable with it; I’d prefer to be on my own or in a familiar setting. But at the end of the day it was better than being at home, because my family weren’t treating me very well,” she reflects.

A referral to Centrepoint

Tania was referred to Centrepoint in Bradford and was concerned that she wouldn’t know anyone, but luckily there were a few familiar faces, and both the residents and the staff helped her to feel more at home.

“I met my support worker, Naz. She was really good with me, she settled me in and checked up on me every few days,” Tania recalls. “At first, I didn’t really like it. I’d heard some things about hostels which was going round in my mind and it kind of scared me, but the staff there were really nice and the people I met there were nice too – they helped me through and I realised it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined."

“My key worker encouraged me to save as much money as I could, which I did. I was able to get on with a lot of things by myself, like cooking, but she always made sure that the support was there if I needed it.”

Now that she has moved into her own place, Centrepoint have provided Tania with a floating support key worker who helps with the transition into independence. Annalida will visit Tania regularly to ensure she is settling in okay and check if there’s anything she needs. When Tania couldn’t afford new furniture, for instance, Annalida – or Anna, to the young people she works with – helped source bits and pieces through various charities.

Anna is extremely proud of how far Tania has come in a short space of time: “She is very independent, and every time I go round we have a good laugh. She’s a really easy, welcoming young person. We have a catch up on what’s been going on, what’s new and we just muddle through it all together. Tania has a great outlook on who she is and where she wants to go. So it’s always a positive meeting.”

Education and the future

In the past year, Tania has been busy: she has just finished college, where she was completing functional skills in maths and ICT. She also completed her functional skills level two with the Centrepoint Works in Bradford and got her health and social care qualifications. She recently secured a job in a residential care home for the elderly.

“I’ve always liked helping others; working with children and older people,” she says. “I’m really enjoying the work, although the shifts can be rather long.”

Tania’s advice to other young people in services would be to make the most of the opportunities you are given: “It’s a hard time, but try and look on the positive side and take all the support you can get. The staff at Centrepoint are really kind and knowledgeable and really want to help you, so make the best use of their expertise.”

As Tania carries on her journey to independence, Annalida is pleased that Tania has managed to grow so much in her short time with Centrepoint. “It’s a pleasure to know that what you are doing is perceived in such a good light. As much as we watch people on their journey, when you say goodbye, you don’t always see the impression you’ve left on someone so it’s really great to hear that.”

We wish Tania all the best in her new role and her future.

*names have been changed.