Five years ago Margaret lost several members of her family to cancer and suffered a nervous breakdown. She was living with her adult son at the time, but the stress and depression had a severe impact on her mental health, and she ended up leaving her home and making herself homeless.
“I had a flat, I had money, basically I had everything that a person could want to survive and at the time I just couldn’t put my head around being inside a building, coping with my family, because nothing was just going right, nothing.”
Sleeping on the streets through cold winter nights meant Margaret’s physical health suffered and she soon began to experience palpitations, high blood pressure and back pain. During this time, The Connection’s Street Team approached her but initially she was resistant to accept help. The team persisted and would regularly check in, encouraging her to come to the centre and try some of the creative groups. Margaret now attends art, spiritual space and Streetwise Opera which have all had a transformative effect on how she feels, boosting her confidence and enabling her to move back in with her son.
“I have the courage to go up and stand in front of 200 people and sing which I’ve never ever done in my life. It makes me feel 10 times better than what I normally feel. The Centre is my rock that I built everything around… the friends, the classes. If I didn’t have the classes I don’t know where I would be. Because they are keeping me together as well as my son.”