Natalie was 17 when she escaped from her abusive and alcoholic mother. After sleeping on the sofas of friends and acquaintances, she ended up in London - where she moved in with a much older man she’d only just met. She didn’t feel safe around him and after a week he suddenly became angry and told her to pack her bags and get out.
Natalie had no friends in London and nowhere to go. Our outreach worker Viv found her sobbing on a bench at Euston Station.
Over a period of months, Viv helped Natalie through hostels and shelters and eventually into secure accommodation. All the while she and her team gave her the emotional and practical support she needed to rebuild her life.
Viv told us: “When we first met Natalie she was very vulnerable – a prime candidate for exploitation. We worked with her to develop her self-esteem and to help her avoid dangerous situations and risky behaviours.”
A year on, Natalie is bursting with confidence and positivity. She’s living with friends and she’s just been promoted in her job.
She told us: “Viv and her colleagues really did save me when I was desperate and completely alone. If Viv hadn’t found me that evening, I don’t know what would have happened to me or where I’d be now.”