Guest Story

I’ve just turned 30. I used to have a place in Bristol, but I got an offer of work in Canary Wharf. It was an admin position in a marketing company and it seemed like a pretty good opportunity. I started work and paid for a hotel for the first 7 nights. The pay wasn’t too bad but I couldn’t find anywhere I could afford to rent and just surviving in London was incredibly expensive. I very quickly used up all my savings. I knew the British Red Cross from Bristol, so I phoned them up and they made a referral to the shelter – I was just really lucky that they happened to have a space. Because a got a bed at SFTS, I was able to keep my job which I’m still doing part time. I’ve also got a side hustle being an extra in the movies – crowd scenes, that sort of thing. It varies how much work I get, but it’s quite good fun. Eventually I want to run my own business.

I’m desperately looking for somewhere to rent – I pay an extra fee to to try to get to see rooms first but I’m not having much luck. London is so expensive that I’m looking in Southampton or anywhere a bit cheaper outside of London.

When I first came to the shelter I had no idea what to expect but the staff and volunteers made me feel so comfortable and at home. They gave me a laptop so I could keep working. I use the gym and I’ve done the Yoga classes. I’ve just enrolled in Portuguese classes.

I feel optimistic for my future, staying at the shelter has enabled me to save up for a rent deposit and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to move into my own place soon.

SFTS have offered me everything they could – great food, showers, laundry a nice bed, but most of all they’ve provided me with safety and the chance to start the next chapter in my life.