Amanda’s story

My world is expanding and I am building solid foundations for my future

When Amanda was 13 she started drinking, using speed, acid, ecstasy and sniffing glue. At 14 she jumped out of a window and by 16 she was in a psychiatric ward. Here is her story.

“When my dad died I started taking amphetamines. My partner was beating me up and emotionally abusing me. I lived to get out of my face and escape.

“Before long I was down to six stone. I wasn’t sleeping; I was gaunt, battered and yellow with jaundice and I felt awful, but I just didn’t care. Eventually I lost my house and ended up sleeping on the streets. It was terrifying and I always had to sleep with one eye open.

“By now I needed heroin to function. I knew I had hit rock bottom and that I needed to get clean. So I went into detox. This helped me to realise that drugs were only part of the problem and that it was me I had to fix. My detox support worker referred me to Transform to start this journey.

“When I arrived at Transform I was terrified. I was in a town I didn’t know, in a body I didn’t know. But the house and staff gave me the security I desperately needed after being abused, assaulted and living on the streets. Being surrounded by people experiencing similar problems was really important. I learnt from them and they learnt from me.

“Before I came to Transform, someone told me that to stay sober I had to change one thing… everything. Transform has enabled me to do just that – my home, my friends, my associates, my behaviour, everything. Now I have a fantastic relationship with my mum and my son. My world is expanding and I am building solid foundations for my future.

“I have three jobs now, one of which is to look after an elderly lady; I take her to the shops and help her to get to her appointments. Recently I was waiting for her and I realised I was holding her handbag. This was a massive moment for me – I am trusted and I trust myself.”

Help raise awareness

Thousands of people have gained their independence through supported housing. The Starts at Home campaign aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

Get involved