Tia's story

Sometimes we can take our families for granted. Tia* doesn’t.“My Dad died when I was 13,”  she says, “so I had to go and live with my Mum but she had an abusive partner.”

Without much money and in fear of their safety, Tia and her Mum fled. But a succession of B&Bs and temporary accommodation hardly improved matters.

Tia was doing her GCSEs but with nowhere quiet to study, and having increasing distances to travel just to get to school each day she became unwell. The relationship with her mother became increasingly strained, until she left home. She was just 15.

“I want to be able to make a difference and give people justice…”

She spent some time sleeping on friends’ sofas, but eventually their support dried up and Tia was on her own.

That was when St Basils, a project supported by LandAid, stepped in. They provided Tia with a place she could begin to call home. She says:

“I like it here. They’re very supportive of what you need to do and where you need to be. I’ve told my Support Worker that once I’ve finished my A-levels I want to go to University so they’re trying to help me with that now. I want to be a Barrister, the ones that are actually in court wearing the wigs. I feel like I want to be able to make a difference and give people justice.”

Tia has been elected a Resident Rep and is also part of the project’s Youth Council. She’s trained as a Mental Health volunteer support worker and is doing a Life Skills programme to help her when she leaves. She says:

“It is hard being the age I am, being on my own, with my Mum and Dad not around. I wouldn’t have been able to do that so easily without the support workers here and their help.”

*Tia's name has been changed and a model was used in the photo to protect her anonymity.