Will you be challenging yourself to Sleep Out on Friday 21st June at 7PM at the EBB Stadium so that vulnerable young people like Darcy and Lydia are not faced with homelessness?
Sleep Out is a night on which people of all ages challenge themselves to sacrifice the warmth and comfort of their homes to sleep on the concrete terraces at Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium to raise funds for and highlight the work of Step by Step. The charity hopes to beat last year’s total of 170 participants so it can offer vital support to some 1500 vulnerable young people annually, like Darcy and Lydia (not their real names).
Step by Step became Darcy’s home for nearly a year and a half, until March 2018, after he was kicked out of his home. Darcy recalls that night:
“I remember sitting in McDonalds in Farnborough for the warmth and not knowing what to do with my life. I spent the night sleeping in my friend’s car. It was so cold. The next day I went to Step by Step and it changed my life forever.”
At Step by Step, Darcy engaged in training and development sessions. More than that, Step by Step offered him a “family” life and support, leading him to find employment at Butlins as a bar man and the confidence and ambition to want to work his way up to be a team leader:
“Even at your lowest times, you are supported through. At some points I would be walking around town and then break down in tears I was so low and going through so much. Step by Step was all I had and they were there for me. Even at 4am if I needed help I knew I could speak to a STEP worker as there was 24-hour support. That’s what made a difference.”
Lydia came to Step by Step in March 2018 after over-crowding in her home and family breakdown led to her having nowhere to go. When Lydia arrived her mental health was very low. She was struggling with depression every day. Lydia knew she needed to make changes to her life but lacked positive role models and needed support:
“Some days my depression and mood was so low I couldn’t get out of bed. I just wasn’t able to face the day.”
Step by Step helped Lydia to manage her self-care, to dress herself appropriately and to cook and clean, discovering a talent for baking. As her confidence improved and grew, she felt able to seek support to learn skills and training enabling her to get the job she applied for at a local supermarket. She began attending weekly dance classes which helped with her mental health, even performing in front of a live audience. Lydia has made huge leaps in becoming more independent. Her family relationships have improved, particularly with her sister. She is able to manage her depression and is progressing towards independent living.
Register to participate in Sleep Out now at www.stepbystep.org.uk/sleepout and help improve many more lives like Darcy’s and Lydia’s.