“I didn’t know that much when I left home, I just went to the local council. I didn’t know there was any support for young people. I was a bit naïve I think.
“My parent’s place wasn’t bad but it was very overcrowded – I have quite a few siblings so I didn’t have my own room. I pretty much slept on a bed in the dining room. People tried to be quiet but I didn’t get much privacy. Homeless sounds very extreme, my home was just really overcrowded and I needed some space. I was sleeping at home but it was the dining room area. It was impacting on my education for sure and there was no space to study.
“I did go to the council who assessed me and referred me to Centrepoint. They then provided me a one bedroom flat.
“I finished my third year of university in 2018. I’m working full-time at my placement at King's College Hospital in biomedical science, because as part of my degree I need to train in the lab. At the moment I’m looking at human liver tissues relating to alcoholic liver diseases. To get a placement is extremely hard, out of 400 people I was the only one to get a placement from my uni – it’s highly competitive.
“My medical placement was unpaid. I was working part-time at Tesco and I was still at uni and I was starting to struggle. That’s when Centrepoint stepped in with the Bursary to cover my transportation costs as I needed to get three trains every day to get to my placement. They also helped by buying me a laptop so I could do my coursework.
“Dolores, my Housing Officer, told me about the Bursary. Trying to balance work with the placement and uni meant I was falling behind with my rent. If it hadn’t have been for the Bursary I wouldn’t have any support at all. The room at Centrepoint made a big difference when I was at uni, but the Bursary has been amazing.”
“I’ve finished my placement now and I’m still at the college working in the brain lab. The aim is to get into medicine but that’s going to be a struggle over the next five-six years – even if you’re studying you still have to pay the bills. But I’m really happy at the moment and the dream is to become a medical doctor.
“I’m looking at scholarships at the moment because I owe a lot from student loans as it's about £70,000 so far. My plan now is to either do a masters or to go into medicine. I need to plan wisely whichever one I go for.
“Centrepoint has made a huge impact in my life as it’s helped me to become mature and helped me secure my own flat.”