Samantha's Story

Samantha writes about her journey through homelessness, mental ill-health and starting again...

I was brought up with my sister, by parents who dedicated their lives to both of us. Even though I did well in school and was a live wire, I had experienced bullying, and that resulted in an eating disorder that I’ve carried with me ever since.

I married young, and we had a son together. It was a very unhealthy, violent, abusive relationship, but I worked at it for 15 years. He robbed me of my self-confidence and my self-worth, and then he just left. My whole life crashed before me. I was 33.

Bad ways and times hit; I wasn’t coping. Attempting suicide and getting mixed up with the wrong people. I got arrested for fraud and assault and had to leave my job. I lost my head, my mental health was going down rapidly. My parents suggested that I move near them, which I did but went down even faster.

"I was scared to open the door"

A friend got me in touch with Bromford Housing, as I was knee deep in debt and hiding my post. I couldn’t engage though as I was scared to open the door, in fear of debt collectors. I’d run out of all funds to pay my way and lost my home.

So I was out on the streets living in my car, with my 5 year old son and our dog. I didn’t know who to turn to, and I didn’t want to have to explain to my family as I didn’t know the answers. After a few days, I went into the council to present as homeless, and was put in the Gables mother and child accommodation with support. No pets were allowed however, so Blue, our dog, had to stay in the car.

Weeks passed. I couldn’t cope, so my son went to go and stay with my parents. That evening I took loads of pills to shut my mind off and get some sleep, but I took too much. The next morning I couldn’t be woken by my support worker. The CRISIS team were called. I was diagnosed with Bi-polar and PTSD. My son continued to stay with my parents set by Social Services, for respite until I was well again. Eventually I found a permanent place of my own. My son returned back to me. I told my support worker at the Gables that I needed more support, and they signposted me to P3.

"We were both confident I could stand on my own two feet"

Donna Smith, what an inspiration! She guided and protected me, and taught me everything she knew. Donna believed in me, and supported me through budgeting, learning how to run my home, and supported my with my mental health appointments. She was my voice when I couldn’t speak.

In 2015 Donna moved to P3 Rugby. I was introduced and settled with a new support worker called Jo, and we hit it off straight away. After a short while, I was ready to move home, and Jo supported me with this. Unfortunately she had decided to leave P3, but we were both confident that I could stand on my own two feet.

I wasn’t managing with getting out and about, so I called upon P3 again, and saw Donna. She was shocked to see me, and reminded me of my qualities, and to ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyways’. We hugged, Donna said ‘Sam I’ll see you in my job one day’. I carried on believing in myself. I hit a problem in 2017 with my Landlord not replacing my boiler, and called upon P3. I met with Amanda Sidwell in the Hub in Nuneaton, she supported me with getting it replaced. Whilst in the Hub, I picked up a leaflet that mentioned volunteering, and kept that for the future.

"I’m about to start at P3 Nuneaton as a volunteer"

I’m not waiting for my 40th Birthday, my life is just starting now! I’m about to start at the P3 Hub in Nuneaton as a volunteer. Matab Aslam at the National Career Service put the spring back in my step and boosted my confidence in selecting the right career path. I’ve met up with some amazing people in P3, who have helped support me with getting started, with a special mention to Emma and Helen in Nuneaton.

Without their support, care and compassion, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Here living my dreams, desires and creating future goals and adventures. You guys made it all possible, thank you to all mentioned. My angels with wings.