C’s Story – The Power of a Helping Hand
I came out of prison in 2017, and was living at the ex-offender hostel in Old Windsor, where you are only allowed to stay on a temporary basis, and then you have to find your own place. I have mental health issues (depression and psychosis), and I had no idea how to do this. When I came to the Project, everyone was very respectful and helpful to me.
The support worker at the Project worked together with the council to get me some accommodation, where I stayed for six months, and then they said I had to leave, because it was only temporary accommodation. The council said I was supposed to find my own private accommodation. They explained that, because I made myself homeless by going to prison, I was not entitled to a council place.
The people at the Project gave me advice and told me my rights. With the help of my church, who gave me the deposit, I managed to get private landlord accommodation in Maidenhead. The church and the Project gave me everything I needed for my flat.
Due to my mental health problems, I am not able to work at the moment, and am on a lot of medication. I live in Maidenhead but come to the Project three times a week in Windsor because it gives me a mental lift. I like the food, the friendly chats with people, and being able to find clothes when I need them. I also get help with IT because I don’t know much about computers.
The help from the Project is a huge relief to me. My life is sorted out now and I won’t be doing anything that lands me up in prison again. Coming here puts a smile on my face. It releases my burdens. I don’t need to be lonely. It’s well organised and peaceful. It makes me happy.