Francesca's Story

"My childhood was really tough. My mother had drinking issues and my father was abusive towards me. There were so many bad things going on when I grew up, but I didn’t know it was wrong until I was older.

It affected me massively.I couldn’t go to school and I didn’t know how to socialise. I had no confidence, no self-esteem. I just felt like a shadow. I had no one to rely on, except myself.

By the time I was 17, I felt like I had to leave home. I just couldn’t cope with living there anymore.

That’s when I moved into one of Llamau’s houses. I wasn’t ready to live by myself and I still felt like I had lots of growing up to do – Llamau didn’t just give me a roof over my head, they looked after me and helped me to cope with everything that had happened to me.

I hadn’t been to school for ages, and I’d reached the point where I didn’t feel like I was going to achieve anything. The thought of going back to school was terrifying – I have autism and I find socialising and big groups of people really difficult. But Llamau encouraged me to take part in their Learning 4 Life programme, and that gave me the confidence to start college.

I can’t imagine where I would be without Llamau’s support. They’ve helped me to move on with my life, and to have hopes for the future. At the moment, I really want to pass university and eventually I want to help people with their mental health.

I just want to be happy. That’s the main thing in life, isn’t it? Just to be happy"

You can watch Francesca's story here.


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