Written by Editorial Team, DonateToday
'It felt like it was Christmas' - student's gratitude to Church Housing Trust for their help in ensuring she could continue her studies
'It felt like it was Christmas' – student's gratitude to Church Housing Trust for their help in ensuring she could continue her studies
Kayleigh's self-portrait, taken for her photography course
Kayleigh had to leave her family home at 17 and became homeless, but she was determined not to give up her passion for photography, however. UK charity Church Housing Trust helped ensure she didn’t have to.
‘I had to leave my home and my family suddenly when I was 17,’ Kayleigh remembers. ‘I was in danger of being attacked, if I stayed – it was horrible, as you can imagine.
‘For three weeks, I was homeless,’ she admits. ‘It was really scary and made me very anxious – I didn’t know where I would stay from one day to another. Fortunately, some of my friends let me sleep on their sofas and floors. Otherwise, I would have been on the street.’
I Wanted to Make Other People Smile
Luckily, Kayleigh was offered a place in a young person’s hostel in her native Hull. There was still an aspect of her life that was worrying her though. ‘I’ve always loved photography,’ she explains. ‘I used to walk with my mum in woodland near the Humber Bridge. It’s beautiful and you see lots of birds. I’d do photoshoots with my dog.
‘I used to look back at the pictures and it would make me smile, and I wanted to make other people smile,’ she continues.
‘When I became homeless, I was studying photography at college,’ Kayleigh continues. ‘It was hard to keep doing the course, but one of my teachers gave me a lot of support so that I didn’t fall behind or have to give it up.
One of Kayleigh's photographs, taken for her photography course
While extremely grateful for her place at the hostel, Kayleigh still found the transition to life there difficult and, as a result, her college attendance suffered. ‘When I was dropped off at the scheme with my stuff, I was terrified,’ she admits.
‘I was frightened by stories I’d heard about hostels but the staff there are great, and they’ve helped me so much.’
"You need to show people there is a better world – there are communities and people helping each other."
Part of the help the staff at her hostel gave Kayleigh was to apply to charity Church Housing Trust for funding for photography software to help the student continue her studies from the hostel, rather than at college. ‘I’m having trouble going into college because of all the changes,’ she explains, ‘But now I can do my work at home.
‘You have no idea how much this is going to help me with my studies and my anxiety,’ she continues. ‘I am so thankful to Church Housing Trust for funding the software I need to continue my course – it felt like it was Christmas.
‘You see so much tragedy and fake news, but that’s not all that’s out there,’ she finishes. ‘You need to show people there is a better world – there are communities and people helping each other.
‘Thank you ever so much.’