Summer* who was suffering from domestic violence from her then husband worked up the courage to leave with her 3 children, she spent some time with her brother before moving into our Nightingale House hostel and then her own home. Here is her story.
I have three children and I was suffering from domestic violence at the hands of my husband. In my mind if I didn’t leave I would lose them to social services as I couldn’t cope, I was so worried.
I was living in another area of the UK at the time, my mother was close by but I couldn’t go her as she was the person who set me up with my husband and I felt that she wouldn’t support me.
I contacted my brother who lived in South Wales and let him know that I needed help, he said I could stay at his for a short time but would need to sort something out as soon as possible as he was in the middle of a move. After that conversation I decided to leave.
When I arrived I had a few days rest before he took me to the Cardiff Housing Options team who were able to get me a room in Cadwyn’s Nightingale Hostel that day.
When I walked in my mind was blown. When you think of hostels you think they’d be dirty but it was so clean, there was even a playground for the kids. The staff were extremely welcoming and made me and my children feel at home straight away.
However, after experiencing domestic violence my confidence and self-esteem were severely affected, I was also struggling with depression despite the best efforts of the staff. I would just lock myself in my room and would try not to talk to anyone. The staff were patient and gave me space when I needed it but were also there to give me advice when sought. Eventually I started to leave my room a bit more and would start socialising with the other residents which improved my confidence.
Eventually I was offered my own home in Cardiff where Nightingale House helped me to apply for a DAF grant (Discretionary Assistance Fund) which meant I could buy furniture. I was nervous about taking the leap but I’m so glad I did.
To the staff at Nightingale, you saved my life, you picked me off the floor and helped me to restart my life and I’ll be forever thankful for it.
I’d like to thank Darren Henry who is a Support Worker there who has been amazing. He’s done so much to support me and the kids and I’m so grateful.
Darren Henry Support Worker at Nightingale House said:
“The support I provided was both on a practical and emotional level. A key factor with the progress Summer achieved whilst at Nightingale was a result of her motivation and focus no matter the obstacles she was faced with”.
Support like this only exists due to the Supporting People Fund from the Welsh Government which is currently under review. Cadwyn along with other housing associations are backing the ‘Let’s keep on Supporting People campaign’ which aims to:
- Protect Supporting People funding in the Welsh Government budget for 2018/19.
- Retain the ring-fence around Supporting People funding – so that it can only be spent on these services.
For more information on this campaign please visit our website.
*The name of this person has been changed to Summer to protect her identity.