Liz and Angeline's Story: Volunteer Support
When Angeline first came to Centrepoint, she had experienced street homelessness, was in an abusive relationship and was suffering from an eating disorder and acute anxiety.
When she first arrived, she describes feeling terrified, but her key worker Lorna was able to put her at ease.
“I’m so nervous around people. I’m very quiet, I don’t like loud music or partying or anything like that; I’m very introverted. When I arrived at Centrepoint, they were so welcoming and they showed me the flat I would live in on my own and I just cried because I finally had somewhere I could call my own,” she recalls.
Angeline says she can’t thank Centrepoint enough for the support she has received. They supported her in getting out of an abusive relationship, provided her with a support worker, got her connected with adult mental health services and linked her up with volunteer Liz who acted as her mentor.
“It’s hard to explain how Liz supports me, but she’s a really good person to have around,” she says. “If you haven’t got family who you can talk to, then you need someone that you can turn to and talk to and know that they won’t judge, but just listen. Liz really listens. She doesn’t just sit there and nod her head.”
Angeline adds that it’s the little things that matter, she feels like Liz has really made the effort to know her and the things that she cares about.
“She would help me get out the house – I was so afraid to go outside. With her, I could talk about absolutely anything and she’d listen to my interests and not a lot of people in my life took the time to do that.”
On supporting Angeline, Liz says:
“I volunteered as a mentor for Centrepoint 4 years ago and have been supporting Angeline ever since then, which has been a very rewarding experience for me. I met Angeline soon after she was housed by Centrepoint. At the time, she was nervous about going out alone and meeting with others. I met with her for an hour or so a few times a month to talk and listen and have a hot chocolate in a local café. I worked alongside her key workers to support her when she enrolled on a college course and subsequently began to attend the Centrepoint Works sessions. Through our sessions, we have been lucky enough to visit local beauty spots, which we both enjoy!”
“I also learnt from her about her views of the world as a young person and found our conversations together both interesting and insightful.
“I have found working alongside the Centrepoint teams both rewarding and fun. Their tireless enthusiasm and commitment to young people has been very inspiring.”
And the little things that Liz does for Angeline don’t go unnoticed.
“Liz also knows I love to get post and I don’t get post very often so she always sends me a postcard when she’s away and it always cheers me up when it comes through the door. She knows how to make me laugh,” Angeline says.
“It’s nice because I tend to feel forgotten,” she adds. I love old fashioned programmes and films and they always send letters to each other and their faces would light up when they received them. When I get something through the post, it shows me that someone has been thinking about me.”
“I just want to say a big thank you to Centrepoint and to Liz. I don’t know where I’d be without them. They got me a lovely home and helped me feel a bit more confident in myself because I was completely terrified before when I first came there.”