When I was growing up as a kid family life was fine – the issues started around the age of 13. My biological father wasn’t really around much. I lived with my mum and stepdad and siblings, I noticed I wasn’t getting treated fairly and I felt alienated. It caused a lot of very bad arguments. I got kicked out at 15 due to the arguments then moved in with a much older family member, so we kind of had a generation clash and I went to live with a cousin. We were getting on fine and I really enjoyed living with my cousin but I had to move out as she could no longer have me stay. I had no choice but to go back and live with the much older relative, only then to get kicked out a few weeks later. After that I went to my first hostel which was in Carlton. I stayed there for two months then moved to Nacro.

Since then, Nacro Supported Housing helped me a lot, working around what best suits me and what I need improving on. Especially Will, my Support Worker. Will has done a great job working with me, by sorting out my provisional driving licence, applying for jobs, helping me deal with and manage my money and budgeting, so a big thanks to Will! I also volunteered helping interview the new staff that Nacro were recruiting. I’m moving on into my first council flat very shortly, and I’m really excited. I can’t say I’m nervous because I’m familiar with the area I’ll be moving to and I really like moving around to different areas. I’m definitely ready.

In a year’s time I would like to have gained my SIA badge and be a qualified security guard, I would prefer to work night shifts. I also want to try volunteer as a mentor for young people that have been in or are still in the position I was in. At the end of last year one of my aunties emailed me from Canada asking if I wanted to move over there and live with her, and also to go to college over there. I replied, “yes, that would be great!!’ So moving to Canada is my long-term goal/dream, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make it happen.

My positive message to the young people of Nacro is get your head down and concentrate on making your life better. In order to change your life sometimes you have to change your atmosphere – that could mean your friends or any bad crowds you are involving yourself with. Also try your hardest to get as much experience in the sector you want to work in as possible, as in today’s world getting a job is more based around what experience you have and not the qualifications you have so don’t worry if you don’t have any or little.