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Real life stories

Carole’s story

In 2006 after the breakdown of my marriage, I found myself homeless. I was referred to a St Mungo’s project in Notting Hill, where I spent some time recovering for a few years. Unfortunately, things went wrong for me while I was there. I got involved in the wrong company and one thing lead to another. I found myself going down the wrong road. I got in trouble with the police and went to prison for two and a half years. I served 15 months, then I got referred to St Mungo’s again, this time in Earls Court.

That’s when I really got my act together. I started thinking about what I  could do with my life. I weighed up the pros and cons. I was determined not to go back to prison. During my first session, my keyworker pointed out some of the workshops that were on offer there. I took advantage of most of these workshops just to keep my mind focused on moving forward and doing something meaningful with my time. I surprised myself by how much I really enjoyed meeting new friends and learning new skills. I developed the confidence to talk to people who were in the same boat as I was and to share my learning with them. It felt good.

I really wanted to better myself; I started cookery classes, then Indian head massage (which was so relaxing it helped me think straight) then I thought of doing the computer course. I couldn’t stand computers at first. I thought my brain couldn’t handle it so I forced myself to just get on and do it. After the first few classes I found myself really getting into it. Roger the tutor has so much patience; he helped me to understand how easy it was to learn how to use a computer. So much so, now I won’t miss a session or a chance to use a computer. For someone who used to hate computers, now I love them.

After a few months of living at St Mungo’s I was nominated to get my own flat.  I snapped it up straight away. It’s been over a year now. I’ve done it up so it looks great. I bought my sofa bed online, did some other shopping online and regularly check my email for notices as well as news from family and friends.

My life is beginning to feel complete. I’ve come so far from where I was to where I’m at now. Everybody tells me how I look so much better and happier now. I am so proud of myself for just getting down to doing something educational and keeping busy while staying away from the old company.  I wouldn’t want to go back to that lifestyle again.  I love my life as I am now. I’ve truly found myself again.