Charlie was diagnosed with autism in her mid-forties.
“It was a bit of a shock,” she said. “I thought I was just stressed.”
She had been living in Scotland, in a ‘ramshackle’ cottage with lots of animals, surrounded by lakes, forest and the countryside.
When her house was repossessed she moved down to Yorkshire to be closer to her mum, and found herself sofa-surfing in Harehills, an area of Leeds.
Charlie became a client of Horton Housing’s Harrogate STAY service, part of the North Yorkshire Homeless Prevention Service and was introduced to her support worker, Niamh.
“She helped me with my bills and getting stuff for my house. It’s good to have someone there to talk to, things I can’t talk to my mum about. I’m a terrible worrier. Niamh is really good fun and she’s got a young outlook on things.”
Charlie sees her mum once a week and is hoping to go to college to study animal care. She likes to cycle and swim in her spare time and would like a job either in gardening or working with animals.