“About 6 years ago you helped me, not just by giving me a place to stay, but also by supporting me mentally.  I was on the verge of not knowing whether or not I would be about from one day to the next.

I was on the edge both physically and mentally. I wanted to kill myself – if I’m honest I didn’t want it no more – I wanted the pain to stop. I didn’t want to die but I wanted the pain to stop and I thought the only way that’s gonna happen is to end it. One of the most touching moments I had at CHESS was one Christmastime from a local school.  I came back to the shelter and found 3 bags on my bed all full of Christmas stuff from a local school.  And at that point I was probably at my lowest point. I was thinking about my kids, what the future holds, do I want to carry on?  But them 3 bags, with toothpaste, shower gel, socks – as much as I didn’t need them things, I needed to know someone cared. And that gave me that lift to go on. It hasn’t got to be like this – there are good people out there.

CHESS took me in and gave me the chance to rebuild my life again and that’s what I did. I’m now married, I got custody of my son, I went back into education and gained my social studies diploma and enrolled into a degree studying special needs.

For nearly 3 years now I have worked in a special needs school whilst also holding down a second job as a youth and family support worker.  Life has never been so good and it’s all thanks to CHESS for giving me the help that I needed.

I now use my experiences which I don’t hide and I share them with the young people I work with, not for sympathy but to show them how their lives can change so quickly and how just because life may be pretty crap at times, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.  With the right support and hard work anything is possible. As I say to my kids ‘don’t let your yesterdays control your todays’.

Once again I thank you all so so much. What you all do really does make a difference, not only did you save me but you also saved my son and helped us break the cycle. My son is now safe and happy with not just me but also an amazing stepmother. Thank you all xxx.”

Watch Steve tell his story and the difference it makes to know that someone cares – even if they don’t know you.

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