Leah, 18, came to our Group Living Service (GLS) accommodation in Bradford in June 2018. After a year of support, Leah’s mental health has improved and she is now living independently in her own home.
She said: “I found out about the GLS hostel as two of my friends were living there. I was staying at another hostel but my mental health deteriorated and I wasn’t looking after myself. I received little support and got into a lot of debt.
“It was also easy for anyone to access the building as you could get in by just using a fob. People would go into the hostel and cause trouble, which meant that the police would regularly turn up.”
Leah moved into our GLS accommodation a day after having applied for a space.
She said: “It’s a good hostel – It was the first time I’d had my own room with my own kitchen and bathroom. I still struggle with my mental health and anxiety, but this improved during my time there.
“The hostel staff have really helped me. I’ve received all the support I could think of from going to the doctors, help with getting food in, budgeting, and staff attending my appointments at the Job Centre, as with my anxiety, I sometimes struggle to find the words to say when speaking to people. They’ve also gone with me when I’ve had to attend family court. My support worker has been particularly great as she’s been there to help me when I’ve needed a female figure for various issues.”
Leah was supported by staff when she moved into her own place in June 2019.
She said: “The hostel staff were persistent with ringing up a local organisation for a property until one was available. They helped me move into the flat, sort it out and made sure that I felt safe and comfortable.
“The area I’m living in now is a nice family-friendly area and it’s great as my friends live nearby. After spending around two years living in hostels, I feel settled now. It’s nice to be out and independent.
“I’m always welcomed back to the hostel. I visit every few weeks to say ‘hi’ and know that staff are there if I need anything or if I’m feeling low.”
In the future, Leah hopes to become a child psychiatrist to help improve children mental health services. She would like to focus on talking to them to get to the route of their problem and offer support, rather than relying on medication as she had experienced as a child.