“My motivation for being here was wanting better for myself and for my children. I really didn’t want to come back to my area with the same mindset and behaviours I’d had previously.
For me one of the most helpful aspects is having a nice homely environment, especially after coming from treatment centres and rehabilitation units. Support from staff and my peers has been extremely positive. It’s helped me achieve my goals that I set at the start of my tenancy with Homeless Oxfordshire, whereas previously I was fearful, ambivalent and resistant to making changes. The weekly group work sessions meant I was able to explore issues that I hadn’t felt comfortable exploring before. I was able to build my self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth.
In the past year, my whole attitude to life has completely changed. I have learnt to trust people and build positive relationships with my family and solid friendships with people who care and value me for who I am today.
I have routine and structure to my week. I have completed the peer mentoring group with The Women’s Project and am now a peer mentor for them. In this role I facilitate groups, which I really enjoy, and I’m looking forward to doing some more peer mentoring with Homeless Oxfordshire.
I now have continued unsupervised contact with my children and I’m able to help my mother, who has been consistently supportive and is guardian of my three children. I have a positive relationship with my son’s social worker and I’m able to take my children on holiday unsupervised as their social workers can see how well I have done. There has been no further offending and all my previous offending history is now all spent.
My next steps will be to work with staff regarding moving on, to continue doing peer mentoring and to save for a holiday with my children. Eventually, I want to move on and work towards future employment, possibly in the care sector or something similar.”
* These are the real experiences of one of our residents, but images and names have been changed to protect their identity.