Peer Impact

Hi, my names Laura.

As a child I lived with my mum as her and my dad separated when I was young. My mum and I had a bad relationship which resulted in her kicking me out at the age of 12, I went to live with my grandma. After leaving school at the age of 15 I hung around with the wrong people and started to go off the rails; taking drugs, drinking, going out all the time and not caring about anything.

A couple weeks after my 16th birthday I had a party which got out of control, this lead to my dad and grandma kicking me out of her house so I was sofa surfing for around two months, this was a horrible experience but I was lucky my grandma eventually let me back in. I ended up going back to my old ways but after I was involved in a serious car accident April 2014 this gave me a wakeup call. I slowly cut people out and got my life together.

My friend Jade, who is also a peer educator told me about BYH not long after she completed the course herself. It sounded like something I’d enjoy and it would benefit my future so I decided to give it ago, also it passed time on. I was nervous on the first day didn’t really know what to expect but the staff were all lovely and easy to get along with. The course was nothing like being at school or college, it was so chilled and fun, we did it in our own time with no rush. I’m glad I did it now because it’s given me such a great experience.

I also take part in school sessions. I find these great because by sharing my story I feel like I am making a difference. It helps students become more aware of homelessness, how they can prevent it or what to do if they was to ever be put in that situation. On my first day I was so scared I didn’t think I would enjoy it at all but I love doing them they also help to build my confidence.

As well as helping out for BYH I am also a care and support worker doing domiciliary (home) care. I love my job, it’s so rewarding.