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 Young People's Stories

Scarlett (now aged 19)

“ I began my support after my guidance teacher at High School in S3/4 suggested I do so. I struggled to make friends and I had an abusive relationship with my mum who was a single parent to seven children. I then left home at 16 and if it were not for the support I received from the HOT team I would not have been able to cope both financially and emotionally with the changes that occurred.
The two support workers I worked with helped me to budget and become financially responsible and also helped me deal with the complete breakdown of my relationship with my mum. I recall that one night I felt very low and was contemplating suicide, I called a support worker and she talked me out of it and went above and beyond the next few weeks so I knew that I was better alive. I also managed to stay in education until 6th year and gain Highers; I don't think I would have managed this without the support I received. Read more








 "...one support worker in particular helped me realise I could achieve anything I set my mind to."

Sally, 14

(Sally asked her worker to help write her story down.) Sally’s Mum has on-going, major health issues. She struggles with domestic abuse and misuses legal and illegal substances. In her Mum’s home, Sally had to cook meals, clean, care for her Mum, do washing and keep the house running. She had to do this from a young age and this forced Sally to stay up very late to get her homework done and feel prepared for school. In her S1 year, Sally’s school attendance began to slip dramatically under the pressure of doing all her homework and taking care of her mother. Sally has had high levels of responsibility in the home, has witnessed domestic abuse between her Mum and various partners, has previously been homeless with her Mum, and has moved house many times in her life. Due to these things, as well as being bullied in school for her appearance, Sally often felt high levels of stress and anxiety. Read more

 “ I now feel like an extinct time bomb. ”

Inspiring ways to deal with difficult feelings

The poem below was written by a young woman who experienced trauma.  She hopes that “many more people will work through creative ways to release their pain and discomforts”.

Nocturnal Birds

Part I

These fluttering beings are rare to find
Sleeping through the day’s light to jump out of the nest at sun-set
they dance and sing along lonesome cherry blossom boulevards,
skip along the moon lit sands
these are the nights they cherish in their minds.

To survive the darkness they feed on colours: blues, greens, purples and yellows.
Illuminated are their paths, for their glossy bright eyes shine like stars
For a moment, or two, they share a flight of happiness with you
and as suddenly as they appeared they disappear: leaving you with just one shoe
only later to tell you their stories in scribbles on shiny post cards
with a P.P.S. “To make it clear, I took your shoe as a souvenir.”

Read more

“ To survive the darkness they feed on colours:

blues, greens, purples and yellows.”