A young Mum who was abused as a child – and who now hopes to start university as a mature student tells Home-Start helped to turn her life around.

“From a young age I had it tough and when I was in my early twenties I had it tougher. I can only say this now because I have something to compare my life with. And believe me, it’s worlds apart from what I knew. From when I was little I suffered child abuse. My mother died when I was young and I’ve been exploited nearly all my life by bad men.

“Making the move to Hampshire was the first step in making my new life and I wanted to dedicate my world to my son. Home-Start was the glue that kept me together and helped me when I needed it the most. They showed me kindness, honesty respect and were non-judgmental – this was all stuff I knew nothing about.

“My volunteer and the Home-Start staff made me feel I was worthy and trusted. They encouraged me to believe in myself and become a better person and a better Mum. I’ve now started working with young people who misuse drugs and alcohol and women who suffer domestic violence. For two years I’ve been studying counselling and mental health issues and I’m hoping to start a degree next year.

“My aim is to help others the way only a few have helped me. I’m truly grateful for everything Home-Start have done for me and I know all too well the change it can make to someone’s life.”