When I first met Annah, I was a broken soul who desperately wanted something better for myself but had absolutely no idea how
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When I first met Annah, I was a broken soul who desperately wanted something better for myself but had absolutely no idea how to make this happen. As it transpired, the biggest barrier to turning my life around was me. I was living a fear-filled life. I had no self-belief, I was scared of failing, and I was scared of being rejected and discriminated against for my past, so, I stayed in my comfort zone of not trying to succeed at anything.

Then I entered the RAW Programme where the seed of my progress and success today was first planted. I didn’t even know what the word resilience meant, let alone practice it when I first arrived at RAW but Annah taught me, along with many other life-changing lessons.

For starters, I learned that I did not need to stay in victim mode because I had already proven to myself that I was a survivor. Plus, it’s not what I have done in my past that matters, but who I am today, and the choices I am making for my future, that truly matter. I also learned how important it was to reach out for help and support.

Slowly but surely, the magic started to happen. Qualities that I didn’t even know existed started to reveal themselves like courage, self-belief and the confidence to be transparent and assertive. Annah taught me how to accept constructive feedback without judgement; instead accepting it for what it was. She also taught me that if you really want something, you can have it if you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to reach it.

Initially, I thought my destiny was in building, so I spent two and a half years with a Construction Company as a building apprentice. I absolutely loved my time there, and I learnt so much about myself, including the fact that working with youth, rather than building, was where my passion lay.

Today, I’m in my dream job helping and supporting youth in the same way that Annah has, and continues to do, for me. Her support for me seems endless but what I love most about it is that she’s teaching me how to be a role model and a life-changing supporter for others. If only the world had more people prepared to look beyond the brush that so many disadvantaged people are tarnished with what a different world it would be!.

Shortly I will also be moving into my very own home!!! With Annah’s support, my partner and I were accepted for homeownership with Habitat For Humanity. Once again, Annah’s guidance and support throughout the whole process has been amazing. To have someone in the world that I can trust 100% is such a gift, I would not be the woman I am today without her.

Looking ahead, I can only see an even brighter future. My two-year goal is to finish my work-related studies, move into our property and continue to build a strong relationship with my seven-year-old son who has just transitioned back into my care. But that’s just for starters! I will continue to grow and flourish or shine like a star and go as far as you can imagine” as Annah would say. Watch this space; I’m living proof that all we need is a hand up not a handout!.

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