Jade’s story

“Verve offers independence and freedom but at the same time there are professionals on-site to offer help if you need it. I feel safe and happy here and I’ve been able to really focus on all my college work – I’ve gone from gaining an ‘E’ in Maths, to an ‘A’ within a month."

From around the age of 10 Jade has cared for her parents. This affected her at school and later she was ‘sofa surfing’ because of the difficulties at home. After being assigned a social worker it was agreed she needed to move to a foyer so she could have her own space.

Jade said: “From around the age of 10 or 11 I started looking after my parents and my little sister. From about 15 I was the parent in my family unit. My parents are lovely people but when you’re under the influence of alcohol and drugs it changes your personality. There was a lot of pressure on me to hold the family together and I had to reassure my grandparents constantly that everything was ok at home.

“I managed to survive because of the support of my friends, grandparents and my sisters. I didn’t want to leave my parents in a situation where they might lose contact with their daughters but at the same time I had to think about myself.”

Since moving into Verve Place her life has improved in every way. She is excelling in college and specialises in studying particle and quantum physics and is applying to go to Loughborough University, which has a strong physics pedigree. She also works part-time work at in Warrington.

Now about her future, Jade said: “I’m now planning for my future and have been to visit Loughborough University, which is where I’ve always wanted to go to study physics. I’ve also undertaken work experience with Cavendish Nuclear, an engineering company and I’ve picked up different qualifications while learning on the job.

Jade said: “My social worker managed to secure me a place here at Verve because I was sleeping on couches and didn’t have a permanent address. Instead of looking after other people I can focus on myself now. If I wasn’t here at Verve I wouldn’t be going to college, I have so much to thank them for. I feel so much more positive and believe I can move forward and secure a job.”

“The staff at Verve look after lots of admin on your behalf, for example supporting you to get a TV license. All I have to do is pay my rent, attend college and work. They also offer lots of help and support such as teaching you how to budget, which is a key life skill when you live on your own.

“This is a place where you can be yourself. I love playing the ukulele and I’m currently teaching one of the staff how to play.”

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.

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