I came to Liverpool 6 years ago after fleeing a violent relationship. Although my children were happier and content, I found myself very isolated and struggling without friends and family around me. I was living in a private rent house and it was leaving me with hardly any money. There were days when I couldn’t afford to put my washing machine on and some days when I could only feed the kids and not myself. It was like a black hole I couldn’t get out off.
Then my daughter started nursery at Centre 56. Suddenly I had this support network. People I could talk to and cry to (which I have done on many occasions). The help, support and love the staff provided was unreal. I found it hard to accept help to begin with, which probably happens a lot after an abusive relationship. But the staff at Centre 56 never once made me feel embarrassed or like I was a burden.
Centre 56 helped me look for a new house and while it felt like a long process and sometimes felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, they kept me positive. This year my life changed for the better. I got a council house and once again, the staff stepped up to help, making sure we had flooring and curtains, food and essentials.
I’ve recently started a new job as an outreach worker which I love. When the staff at Centre 56 found out, they were so happy for me and the kids. It felt amazing that someone was actually proud of me! I know I would never have had the confidence to even go for an interview if it wasn’t for the team at Centre 56 – they have taken the time to build up my confidence over the past two years.
The team at Centre 56 go above and beyond and they don’t even realise it. They literally held me up when I felt like I couldn’t go on and, on more than one occasion, their words probably saved my life.
Without sounding pitiful, the last 20 years of my life have been a huge struggle. I became a widow very young and I felt like I was just going through life achieving nothing. I was a mum, a mum who would sink so easily under the slightest pressure. Never did I think that my daughter starting nursery would change my life but it did. I can’t remember the last time I felt as happy and content as I do now and honestly, a lot of the credit goes to Centre 56 – without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. No words or presents could ever explain how grateful I am.
I have made friends for life here and I know I can go there if I need anything. It’s a safe place and for survivors of domestic abuse, that’s a big thing.
I guess sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you and Centre 56 believed in me and changed my life for the better. I will always remember how they were there for me when I felt like I wanted to give up and for that I will always be grateful.”
Say no to violence against women and never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.