When Grace* was 15, she was made homeless after suffering domestic violence and relationship breakdown in her home. Her local council referred her to St. Basil’s, a charity that works with young people who are experiencing homelessness, where she was assigned her support worker, Jessie.  

Grace* was initially placed into emergency accommodation in B&B’s and hotels, having to move frequently due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. At this time, Jessie had helped Grace enroll into a college course, so the frequent moves were difficult to manage. Grace needed somewhere stable to call home.  

Thankfully, Jessie was able to support Grace into a flat by applying to St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity’s Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF). Due to Grace still being in college, she didn’t have the money to secure the flat by herself, and this grant was able to remove this added pressure, providing the money needed to remove that barrier. This move offered her the stability and safety she needed.  

However, soon after, Grace learned that she was expecting her first child, and needed some extra space. Jessie was also able to support her to find a two-bedroom flat with enough room for her child, where she still lives now. And they managed to secure furniture, white goods and carpets to make sure her house was a home.  

From there, Grace kept opening doors for herself. Despite experiencing extreme sickness during her pregnancy, she was able to continue with her education thanks to her college being so accommodating.  

“I think it was about two months into the course when I found out I was pregnant with my child, I was really, really poorly, so I was in hospital for about 5 months of my pregnancy. But my college was so accommodating with it, they recorded the zoom lessons and I could catch up all everything online. They even let me open the windows [because of my illness] when it was winter and everyone had their coats on” 

She completed her extended level 2 course in Business just before her child was born, and now, at 19, works with a child poverty charity as a youth ambassador.  

“It’s definitely something I feel passionate about, to like tell others kind of they’re not alone. And if my story can change other people’s lives in the future, then obviously that would mean everything to me.” 

She enjoys this type of work as she’s keen to help other young people who have been through similar things to her. It also allows her to work from home, where she can spend time with and look after her child.  

“I’ve been doing a lot of at home, studying and contributing. I’ve done a zoom meeting with MPs about the benefits system. It’s really rewarding and it’s something to do at home.” 

Grace will soon stop receiving support from Jessie, as she no longer requires it as much as before. She wanted to emphasize how grateful she is for charities that have been able to provide help in her first stages of independence.  

“I really am appreciative of all the help that I’ve been offered. I’m obviously estranged from all my family, you see. So having the help and financial care to make my house a home for me and my child just means everything.” 

*Please note, names have been changed to protect our clients’ privacy.

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