I was horrible – but I’ve turned my life around
September 06, 2010
Amy Spence, now 18, spent 14 months with her supported lodgings carers Maggie and Pete Smith, before moving on to live independently.
“I was placed in foster care a few months before my 16th birthday, and when I turned 16 I spent some time in a local shared housing resource before being transferred to live with supported lodgings carers Maggie and Pete.
“At the time I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. When I first arrived I didn’t have any friends or family. I was sarcastic, I was drinking a lot and hanging around with a really bad crowd. I was horrible – getting arrested all the time for things like criminal damage and theft.
“I spent the first week-and-a-half just sat in my room, without even speaking to my carers. At home I was quiet and enclosed. Pete was persistent and eventually I opened up to him – he talked to me and he listened to me. Gradually I opened up and at the same time my self-esteem improved. I stopped seeing my old friends, and stopped drinking.
“Maggie and Pete taught me how to step back from my family problems. They also taught me how to fend for myself – life skills, how to cook and clean.
“My issue was that I try to help other people before thinking about myself. I didn’t think I was worth helping. I’m now back in contact with my family and I feel really positive about the relationship I have with them.
“In May, just after I had turned 18, I moved out on my own.
“I live now near Pete and Maggs in a one-bedroom flat.
“At first I felt a bit isolated. I also found the process of moving, and all of the agreements, quite confusing.
“Now I am finding it good. I was really rubbish with money at first – but I’m getting better. I can’t wait to get a job now.
“Maggie and Peter really did it for me.
“They gave me confidence and they really helped me turn my life around. I know they will always be there for me, they are like my family.”