At the age of 15, Sarah’s relationship with her family broke down. No longer feeling safe at home, she had no choice but to live with her boyfriend. The one-bed flat was cramped and filthy, and her boyfriend’s drug use was spiralling out of control. During the six weeks she was there, she stopped going to school and lost contact with her friends.
At this time, Sarah was also experiencing serious mental health issues. “I was fighting myself, there was no physical illness that I was fighting. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I didn’t want anyone to stop me," she says.
"The self-harming; I became completely immersed and addicted to it. I’d use anything to destroy myself because of what I felt I was worth. I thought I was evil. I couldn’t identify there were two parts in my head... the real me and the destructive me that only wanted to hurt myself."
Journey to independence
When Sarah and her boyfriend split up, she felt alone and vulnerable. But fortunately, she was able to find a room at Centrepoint – escaping the threat of violence and abuse.
With somewhere safe to stay and the support of a key worker, Sarah has grown in confidence and is now taking steps to rebuild her life.
"The independence of living at Centrepoint was what helped me move on further," she says.
"For the young people staying with Centrepoint, our rooms are very important to us. It’s not because it’s the only place we have to call home, but because many of us do have some connection to a family, or friends who have become our family."
"Our rooms are a place we can call our own and belong to us. Your room is a reflection of you because of how you keep it tidy, what you put in there. My room now is a reflection of what I love and you get a sense of identity."
There's always a way
With our support, Sarah has gained essential skills so she can move into education and employment. She’s currently training to become hairdresser and is also trying to reconnect with her family. Sarah finally has a future she can look forward to.
"I haven’t got any qualifications yet, but I have progressed a lot more in terms of what I want to do as a career."
"I have a strong belief that wherever you want to go in life, whatever you want to do, there is more than one way to get there. I’m of the mind that you can always return to do the qualifications you missed, there’s always a way to get to where you want to go.”