“I was 25-years-old, homeless, struggling with untreated PTSD, keeping my true sexuality firmly under wraps, and on the brink of suicide.
My brother lived in a Home Group service and I was sneaking in at night for somewhere to stay. The staff caught me but, instead of punishing my brother, asked if I needed help. They housed me and supported my mental health and I started therapy and began putting my life back together.
I left when I was well enough to live alone, but didn’t want to stop being involved. I signed up as a volunteer, visiting over 50 different services to make recommendations.
Then the apprenticeship came up. The role included studying towards a Level 2 diploma and Home Group helped me apply, even paying for travel to the interview.
It was an adjustment. I hadn’t worked full-time for four years, still had to manage my mental health and, at times, became overwhelmed. If I had worked for any other company I wouldn’t have got through that first year.
I was offered the chance to study a Level 3 qualification and, last year, made my role permanent as an Assistance Involvement Advisor.
I love my job. It has helped me to be proud in so many ways. I’ve learned to love who I am and came out as bi, which led to me reverse-mentoring one of our Executive Directors.
I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of being able to promote all of this to customers too, and inspire them to move forward in their own lives.
Home Group had an amazing way of recognising the value in my differences. I wouldn’t be here now without these unbelievable opportunities.”