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Step up for Layla

natalie.aminoff | 03.09.20

The competitive nature of Steptober can make us forget who we are doing this for. We’re doing this for the 86,000 young people in the UK who face homelessness every year, and who for this year has been especially scary and uncertain.  

By signing up to Steptober, your steps can end youth homelessness for young people like Layla. 

This is her story.  

At the age of 17 Layla had to leave home due to family issues. She moved into a hostel which offered her some form of stability, but after nine months, she was badly bullied and had to leave. She was emotionally exhausted.  

“It was one of the worst moments in my life, I went to the council and asked for help but they weren’t able to help me." Also during this time Layla had been in a job where a manager had financially abused her, taking away some of her income. 

A key worker who had helped her get into the hostel put her in touch with the charity DePaul, who later introduced her to Stephan and Jeannine, from Shelter Community. She'd been through a rollercoaster of different places by the time she found a place with Shelter Community. Finding this home was a miracle, a safe haven for Layla. It changed her life.  

“I just felt safe with them...when I moved to their house everything started to get better for me.”  

Once in safe housing, she was able to get a job at a local supermarket, and they helped her to apply for colleges. In particular, she valued the fact that “they spent a lot of time after work helping me with personal statements and proofreading, teaching me basic things I never knew about tax etc, and how to spot financial abuse in future employment.”  

Now she has a long-term safe place to live and works at a major London hospital as a secretary. Looking back, she says, “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.” 

Sign-up today and you’ll be helping young people just like Layla towards a brighter future.