Nicola is one of hundreds of young people that DHYP supports each year and this is her story.
Nicola was referred to DHYP in early 2017 after being in an abusive relationship. She had to urgently leave the place where she was living and had a range of support needs around anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
After carrying out an assessment with Nicola, we found her a place in our Supported Lodgings project and put in place a support plan to address the needs that Nicola had identified.
Nicola felt safe in supported lodgings and slowly began to regain her confidence and started attending our Drop-in café every Thursday. This gave her the opportunity to meet other young people, through which she formed new friendships, and she also took advantage of volunteering opportunities at the Drop-in café.
Over the following months, Nicola became a familiar face at the Drop-in cafe, regularly volunteering and developing new skills. Nicola was keen to “give something back” (as she described it) and she helped us plan and run a Christmas fayre, through which we raised several hundred pounds for our client hardship fund. This gave Nicola a strong sense of achievement and was a significant boost to her confidence and self-esteem.
After 12 months in supported lodgings, Nicola moved into her own rented property where she is now settled. Nicola is in training and continues to volunteer for DHYP. As her confidence has grown, she has become involved in our Young Persons’ Forum and has helped plan client activities and client training sessions through our Wellbeing service.
Nicola has also taken part in a consultation into the experiences of women who have experienced homelessness, bringing her own voice and experience to a piece of work intended to raise awareness of the issues affecting young women who are homeless.
Nicola’s confidence and self-esteem have grown and, although she is no longer a client of DHYP, she continues to volunteer for us. We created the space, and provided the support, for Nicola to get over what she had been through and helped her gain the confidence to live a happier life and take control of her future. Nicola is an inspiration to us and to other young people.