When Shannon first came to Centrepoint she describes herself as being “all over the place.” She was in the middle of her second year at college and nervous about living on her own.
“I was quite scared when I first came to Centrepoint. I had no prospects and I was suffering from anxiety. The staff [at Centrepoint] really helped me to settle in and learn from my mistakes. I was beginning to disengage from college and wasn’t on the right track. Their patience and time that they took out of their day to just sit with me and go through my work. It really helped me get back on track,” she remembers.
“They motivated me to go to college – they would wake me up in the mornings. I’d get up and have a coffee and just sit and chat with them about any issues. They would calm me down so that I felt comfortable enough to go.”
After completing college, the Centrepoint Works team helped to facilitate a snowboarding apprenticeship for Shannon and through the bursary she was helped financially with the equipment she needed.
“I had the opportunity to travel around a few places in Europe to learn about the slopes in other countries and how the industry works there. It was really fun and I felt humbled to be there. It’s not an experience I ever thought I’d have,” she admits.
Shannon snowboarding in France during her apprenticeship
Shannon completed the apprenticeship and her NVQ and subsequently secured a job with an indoor ski and snowboarding centre in West London.
Since the pandemic, Shannon has been furloughed and fears the centre may not reopen again. However, after much hard work she has secured a place at university to study fashion design and is looking forward to being a student again. Whilst at university, she will receive some extra financial support from the Centrepoint bursary.
"I'm really excited," she enthuses. "It's going to be a bit strange because of the global pandemic and I've been out of education for a while, but I'm ready for it"
Shannon was with Centrepoint for three years, going from high support to medium support and, as her independence grew, low support. She has recently moved into her own flat.
“I was living in a hostel for three years and I never thought I’d be in there that long. I thought I’d only be there for six months. I was shocked, but the housing just wasn’t there for me to move on to."
Despite feeling nervous about living independently, Shannon is confident that she will adapt to this change like all the others she has been through.
“It’s hard getting used to not having staff around to talk to and support you. I feel less secure. If something goes wrong, it is basically up to me. I don’t have anyone to turn to, but this is just a part of becoming independent. I went from a high support hostel to a low support hostel and that was a change in itself, but I got used to it. I guess this will be the same.”