Eight months ago, Danni* was regularly abusing drugs and alcohol and was hanging out with the wrong crowd, which was often getting her into trouble and difficult situations. She had fallen out with her family and when she found herself in need of a safe home and support, she was put in touch with The Benjamin Foundation. Almost immediately, she was able to take positive steps to begin to turn her life around, and within four months was ready to move into one of The Benjamin Foundation’s single-person flats.
Danni, now age 20, describes the last eight months as a ‘rollercoaster’ as she shares her story:
“My mental health was terrible. I had started doing drugs aged 17, I was self-harming, we’d gone through Covid, I’d had a relationship breakdown and was falling out with literally everyone. Drugs can do a lot of things to people.
“When I came to The Benjamin Foundation, I stopped having toxic people in my life and was able to stop drink and drugs. I started to realise that I didn’t have to be around people who weren’t good for me. However, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life; I had no job and at this point I wasn’t speaking to my family.
“It was a little bit overwhelming to begin with but the staff at The Benjamin Foundation have helped me so much; they help you see things from different perspectives and they offer support and reassurance to help you make the right decisions for you.
“I’m completely different now – it’s like a switch just flipped and it all changed. I’m working as a Support Worker and I hope to start college to do Health and Social Care and have an aim to go to Uni to study Psychology. I’m also back in contact with my Mum, which is amazing and we’ve enjoyed plenty of nice time together, like shopping days. We didn’t speak for a long time but now she is one of my biggest supporters.”
Our charity has also helped Danni to develop important life skills to prepare her for successful, independent living.
“Living here has helped me to develop my cooking skills. I couldn’t cook anything before other than just putting things in the oven. I became vegetarian. I’ve even learned how to use a washing machine.
“I met with Joe, The Benjamin Foundation Job Coach – honestly, he’s been great. I was considering a career in Animal Care but I’d had a bit of a blip and he talked me through other career options, college and Uni, including finance and applications – and I’m now working as a Support Worker. It’s been so helpful and a big support.
“There have been so many highlights over the last eight months like when I secured my first long term job and I worked out that this is what I want to do. When I got my first pay cheque was another highlight.”
Danni is grateful for all the help she has received from The Benjamin Foundation and our supporters, which has helped her to make positive changes to her life and prepare for a much brighter future.
“I have a lot of respect for supporters of The Benjamin Foundation. They may never meet us, but they are full of goodness with the things they do for us. The result is that I’m the happiest I have ever been.”
Thank you to Danni for sharing her story.
With your support we can do even more to help vulnerable young people in Norfolk and Suffolk like Danni to take their next steps to leading successful independent lives. Just £10 could pay for a welcome pack of essentials when a young person at risk of homelessness arrives at one of our accommodation centres. Make a regular or one-off donation today: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/donate/
*Name has been changed.