Aidan's Story: Escaping Arranged Marriage
"I left home when I was 20 because I was being forced into an arranged marriage. I moved into a refuge for six months, but a month before I was due to leave they gave me my eviction notice. The refuge was in Surrey so I came back to London and presented as homeless to the council. They put me into a hostel for a month but told me there were no other housing options for me.
"On the day I was going to become homeless I got into the Cardinal Hume Centre. I was there for seven months, and they helped me start to rebuild my life. Then they referred me to Centrepoint.
"I was so nervous when I moved into Centrepoint. Everywhere else I’ve stayed I’ve had to share my space which didn’t help my mental health. At Centrepoint, it was different. I was gobsmacked when they showed me my room.
“I’ve got so much space. I’ve got my own room, kitchen and bathroom. I feel really lucky and have so much independence."
Achieving my dream
"I’ve been at Centrepoint for nearly two years and they’ve helped me achieve so much. I’ve had counselling for my depression and they’ve helped me start to patch up my relationship with my mum and siblings."
"My dream is to become a feature film director and producer, so I’m trying to gain as much experience as possible through Centrepoint. I’ve done so many courses here; a film course, photography and magazine course, a fashion course. I even got two days’ work experience with a lighting company who work with ASOS and Vogue. I recently found out I was successful in applying for a 14 week paid internship with a film company where I’ll be editing a TV show for Sky One."
"When somebody hears the word ‘homeless’ they automatically think street homeless, but there are different types. You could be sofa surfing, in hostels or in a refuge. And it can hit you at any time. I didn’t know it was going to happen to me. You can be doing so well and it just hits you."
"My advice to any young person facing homelessness is to call Centrepoint Helpline. That’s literally it, they can help you."
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