Action for Children: Lisa's story

December 2017 | 7 minutes

Action For Children is one of Dry January's official charity partners for 2018.

In this blog, Lisa shares how Action for Children helped her get back on her feet after drug and alcohol use.

"Most days I didn't bother to go into school. I would wake up late and then go into town all day. My mum would give me a time to come home, but I never did. Instead I used to stay at my friends house all the time. I never followed any rules set for me.

"At one point I was taken into hospital due to my heavy drinking and drug use and had to stay there for seven weeks. While I was in hospital, I was referred to Action for Children by my social worker because of my home situation and substance use. I wasn't getting along with my mum and I was at the risk of being homeless, which was really scary, but another part of me wasn't afraid. I thought I was invincible and that nothing could happen to me.

"My mum sent me to live with my dad but he had his own family so there wasn't much room. I was going back and forth from his to my friends house, but it got to a point where I needed something stable as I had stopped going to school and everything was just a mess. People were sick of me staying and I was once again really close to being homeless."

...if it wasn't for them I would have probably been on the streets.

"I was lucky that I was referred to my local Floating Service at Action for Children because if it wasn't for them I would have probably been on the streets. They helped me with my substance and alcohol use and helped develop and re-build my relationship with my mum. I was able to stay with her until I saved enough money to rent my own place. At the age of 16 I suffered a miscarriage, but fell pregnant again shortly after my 17th birthday. Action for Children helped me in so many ways. I did a parenting course with them and, being a new mum, I needed all the help I could get. I also did a cooking course so that I could learn to make healthy meals. I've also done Barclays Money Skills course, which helped me to budget effectively.

"Right now I feel so good. The support I received has been life-changing.

if I kept to my old ways I wouldn't have been able to look after my little girl

"The relationship I have with my mum now is just brilliant. I now understand things from her point of view. I had a worker who came out to see me each week and we would talk about how I was feeling and would get me and my mum together, and we would talk and work on our relationship.

"If I didn't receive help from Action for Children my life would have been totally different. If I kept to my old ways I wouldn't have been able to look after my little girl and would not be living independently.

"I'm looking to go back into education soon. I've been given so many opportunities here with the charity and have done so many training courses. I'm a Young Ambassador for Action for Children and volunteer for them every Wednesday night. I've managed to turn my life around and would really like to inspire others too."