Case Study - Carol

"I wanted to give something back to Crisis and I thought I might want a job in a professional kitchen, so volunteering at Crisis at Christmas allowed me to do both."

When she was thrown out of her home at 17 Carol came to London with a friend. With little money she found herself homeless and sleeping rough. Eventually Carol found work and she was able to get a place in temporary accommodation, ending her first period of homelessness.

"Without any money you quickly end up on the streets and then it is even harder to get a job."

A number of years later Carol found herself homeless again after the breakdown of an abusive relationship. Fleeing in fear for her life Carol was again forced to sleep rough. This period of homelessness came to an end when Carol found a place in a shelter for abused women.

"I was in an abusive relationship and I was really scared and alone. I had nowhere to go and I found myself sleeping rough again."

After receiving treatment for her bi-polar disorder, Carol found out about Crisis. Having been told that drawing and exercise would help her condition, Carol signed up to a portrait art class and took part in karate and Pilates sessions at Crisis Skylight. Since then Carol has completed 'build a bike' and IT courses and is now studying horticulture.

"Drawing and exercise really help clear my head and help me concentrate. Crisis Skylight courses help you to feel better within yourself and the tutors help to guide you through and do more for yourself. People who stay on and stick with it really see the improvement. You have to make a commitment to Crisis and yourself."

Carol enjoyed volunteering for Crisis at Christmas and would take part again next year despite being worked off her feet.

"Crisis at Christmas is an amazing week and there is a lot to do and it is all so well organised. You get to see the improvement in the guests and they are happy, as the week goes on you can see the colour come back in their cheeks."

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