Aged 16, Tash had no choice but to leave home and started crashing on her friends' floors and sofas. At times, she had no choice but to sleep on a park bench.
“I’d go and sleep on a park bench, but I wouldn’t really sleep,” Tash recalls.
“I’d stay awake all night because I was scared of the dark. I’m still scared of the dark now. I’d have to sleep when it was light outside."
Getting the support she needed
After approaching her local council for help, Tash was referred to Centrepoint.
For the first time in six years, she had a warm, safe room of her own at one of our hostels in West London.
When she arrived at Centrepoint, Tash met her key worker Angela. They worked together to combat Tash’s frustrations and to help her channel her anger. Tash also received counselling for her mental health and support from our Learning team when she applied to college.
Combining her love of sport and photography
Tash has always had a passion for sport, so she jumped at the opportunity to join our Sport programmes.
She first joined one of our boxing sessions and then excelled at one of our Street Football Training Centres. She even represented Team England at the International Street Football Festival 2015 in Manchester.
Before starting the programme, Tash felt isolated and lacked self-esteem. But with her new found confidence, Tash now volunteers every week for Centrepoint's Sport team. She coaches street football sessions to help other young people through the programme.
Tash lived at Centrepoint for just over two years before moving on to another hostel in London. It was here she discovered her love for photography.
After completing a photography course, Tash shots impressed Fulham FC so much they invited her to take pictures at their ladies matches.
Building on this experience, Tash is now following her dream of becoming a full time photographer. She's also studying for a sports coaching qualification – “it’s always good to have something to fall back on,” she says.
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