‘Losing my job and having a ‘friend’ empty my bank account left me without a home.’

After having to escape from an abusive relationship where I sustained a fairly serious injury, I moved into temporary accommodation. I was working at a good job in a warehouse but after a serious incident where the employer was found negligent I chose to leave as I just didn’t feel I could carry on working there knowing what had happened.

With no income I became homeless. After having my bank account emptied by someone I considered a friend I ended up living in a tent for 3 weeks, before being given a room at the CHESS night shelter in Chelmsford.

I was able to have a room of my own, access to laundry services, a shared bathroom, hot meals every night and breakfast every morning. They also gave me my own Support Worker who helped me to access GP and dental services as well as the opportunity to attend training courses in IT, Wellbeing, Health & Safety & Cookery, plus many others.

After 6 months I was able to move into one of their move-on properties which is where I stayed until I got my own permanent accommodation with the help of CHESS. My hope is to be able to complete my nursing qualification and take up a full time career as a Registered Carer – which is something I used to love.

Without the support I received from CHESS I dread to think what would have happened to me. I was recently able to buy myself a decent bike and safety kit, and I really enjoy the freedom I have to get out and about cycling. I have wanted to raise funds for CHESS for ages and with all the other events being cancelled this year I decided to take part in the Prudential Ride London 19 mile cycle. I managed to raise just under £300 and am so pleased to be able to give something back to CHESS.