Real Life Stories

Calderdale SmartMove > Real Life Stories

Our clients have been busy putting together a collection of their stories for SmartMove. Here are some real life accounts / testimonials from just a few of them. For obvious reasons, we have kept the quotes anonymous.

J.S.

I am a 75-year-old ex-painter and decorator. I used to live with my daughter and intermittently with my girlfriend (in a stormy relationship).

My daughter’s husband walked out suddenly and unexpectedly, and not too long after she met someone at work, and he came to live with us. Eventually the relationship between him and me deteriorated and it became necessary for me to leave, especially as they now have a baby daughter. About this time I also had a terminal row with my long term girlfriend (14 years).

I went to Hebden Bridge, where I was once happy, hoping to find accommodation, but the best I could do was bed and breakfast at £55 per night. Although I had funds for the short-term they would not last long at those prices. I spent a couple of nights in my car, and ended up at SmartMove.

They helped me with all practical problems, like housing, and housing benefit, also pointing me towards cheap furniture delivered on site. My basic survival needs were sorted, but loneliness crept in. I’ve never been depressed but found myself sitting for long periods without finding the motivation to move (nowhere to go, nothing to do).

What helped me a lot was the drop in centre at SmartMove. I got to talk to people. I never realised before how important that is.

I have become aware of how easy it would be to fall from normal circumstances to living rough on the streets. I always felt I was living on solid ground, but we’re all skating on thin ice, hostage, as they say, to the whims of fate. I dread to think what would happen to people in trouble without organisations like SmartMove. I feel deeply grateful.

A.B.

I was open minded when I first came to SmartMove, but completely unaware of the help & support that was on offer. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the flat & furniture I now have, plus the personal and ongoing support – including home visits – which has been invaluable.
When I first signed for my flat, my only possessions were a couple of suitcases of clothes. within days, I was fully equipped with all the furniture I needed, including cleaning products, toiletries, bedding and food to set me up.

SmartMove has given me a much better quality of life throughout my addiction for which I am extremely grateful. They are giving me inspiration and self belief towards looking at a new career by realising that previous skills can be incorporated into something new. We are currently researching further education. Without this support I would not have had the confidence to go ahead or even known where to begin.

Voluntary work within SmartMove and out in the community is something I hope and want to do in the very near future.

Being part of SmartMove and the rest of the clients, makes me feel hopeful, excited, positive, worthwhile and very happy to be part of such a great support group and team

M.S.

The first time I attended a training session, I felt isolated and extremely nervous. My reading is getting better. It’s been a long process but I’m getting one to one help every week and I know I’m making progress. SmartSkills have helped me find things on the computer, where I do what I can myself and then get help for the other bits that I can’t do.

SmartSkills have helped me be more confident about thinking of an English course later in the future. I am getting better at turning negative feelings into positive ones.

I feel more relaxed and confident and generally I’m just enjoying myself more. About 20 years ago I had meningitis and since then I’ve had epileptic fits. It’s controlled now but it’s left me a different person to what I was.

G.B.

I was referred to SmartMove by the Todmorden food drop in due to being homeless. SmartMove got me a great bedsit with Halifax Second Housing. They also put me in contact with the Gathering place. They also got me a microwave and toaster. I have a Housing Support Worker, which means you are never alone with your problems.

SmartSkills gave me access to computers. They helped me with looking for employment. They have also showed me what is on offer to me in terms of Further Education.

J.K.

It has helped me a lot coming to SmartMove even though I was extremely nervous. They really helped me to find and move into a property. They have also helped me with my social skills. Neil, my Housing Support Worker is very helpful at all times and because I like him so much I bought him a birthday card.

SmartSkills (the educational arm of SmartMove) are helping me to find worthwhile work, maybe part time work eventually. I have also done some ‘Computer Confidence’ sessions at SmartMove which have helped me. I have dyslexia so I have needed some help with this.

I have had chance to talk about further adult education. I am thinking of looking into this in September, for literacy and I.T.

I have been able to talk about doing some volunteering, so I am looking into that as well.

“I feel very good now. SmartMove are the best!”

N.L.

My confidence was at an all time low. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, wanted to walk straight back out.

Since being here my confidence has grown. They have helped me to finally have the confidence to be around people again and not to be anxious in a group of different people and to build my confidence to be able to ask for help on how to look for jobs and go on courses to build skills that are useful in jobs. I am so much more confident that I was able to ask at the local college if I could join a course to improve my maths skills!

Being here has also helped me to remember skills from years ago and I have been able to contribute some of my knowledge in the group sessions, especially the allotment one.

I have been on a basic U.T. course through the local job centre and would really like to carry it on. so that I can be more proficient on computers and buuild up my skills to improve my job prospects.

S.D.

I was in a completely manic state of mind or rather my mind was in a state.
Before I became aware of SmartMove I was unable to function.

Nothing is easy. Being on your own with nobody to turn to is even harder.

A meeting was arranged and over time things became easier with the support given. I didn’t know how to deal with regular daily tasks or how to be around people.

Again with the Self Help and Personal Development courses running within SmartMove, helped me a great deal. They have a variety of courses going on that all benefit the mind body and wellbeing of everyone individually.

Now a year on I’m a totally different person. I’m well, I’m happier, I’ve got a safe haven, I know I can always refer for any advice if needed in the future.

The short book named “Our Stories. It’s a really inspirational read, and makes you realise there are many circumstances that can lead to people becoming homeless, it really can happen to anyone. It is available to purchase for a recommended minimum donation of £2, which helps to cover the printing cost. Anything over and above that goes towards helping the homeless and vulnerably housed across Calderdale.

Thank you in advance for your support.

If you would like to purchase a copy of ‘Our Stories’, please email finance@calderdalesmartmove.org.uk or call us on 01422 361515

One of our clients wrote the poem “Invisible” which is powerful and inspirational and sums up just how emotions can be when facing homelessness.

One of our clients wrote the poem “Invisible” which is powerful and inspirational and sums up just how emotions can be when facing homelessness.

Invisible

I feel invisible
Nobody seems to see me
I try and shout at the top of my voice
But no one seems to hear me

I am trying to draw attention
But nobody seems to care
Even when I am on my knees
Nobody seems to know I’m there

I try and blend in with people
I try and conjure up a smile
Though only I know this to be false
And refrain from running a mile

I am now becoming reclusive
Trying so hard not to cry
I really don’t wish to talk to people
I just want to curl up and die

I really need to sort myself out
I know there’s something wrong with me
No longer do I wish to be invisible
I just want my mind set free

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