Like many young people we support, Amelia experienced the loss of loved ones in her young life. She was only five when her mum died, she lived with her dad until she was 12 and one day he simply dropped her off at her nana and grandad’s. When her nana died, her grandad was unable to look after her and she went to live with her aunt and uncle.

During the first lockdown last year, Amelia’s relationship with her aunt and uncle deteriorated and she was asked to leave home.

For two weeks Amelia was homeless, she managed to stay at her boyfriends for a few nights, but he shared a room with his little brother so it was not an ideal place for her to stay, Amelia spent one night sleeping rough before she asked for help. Amelia says “That two weeks I was homeless, it didn’t hit me at all. It didn’t feel real. Then it got really tough. I’d cry myself to sleep every night.”

On arriving at Depaul, Amelia stayed in our supported accommodation, she had been studying at college but she had to leave the course. She then joined the Steps to Success programme.

Steps to Success is our national Education, Training and Employment programme, designed to support young people aged from 16 to 25 to build the skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve their employment goals.

At the same time, she met Carmen, a Depaul keyworker.

“When I’m not in a good place, I don’t talk. But Carmen asked me about everything, and so I told her about everything I was dealing with. Carmen helped me with a covering letter, and we got my CV sorted. I also bought a CPD course, because I hadn’t finished at college. I saved up to pay for that. I started applying for jobs. I applied for a care job and was invited to an interview. Carmen helped me prepare for the interview and I got the job.

“It feels incredible. I was always a motivated person, but with everything that happened with my family and college, I just lost all my confidence. I was in a really low place. Steps to Success and the people at Depaul were really patient with me. They gave me the push I needed. And now I have the job, the career that I wanted and I can find my own place and move on.”