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Ellie's Story

Ellie's Story

At the age of 17, Ellie had a breakdown of relationship with her mum who asked her to leave her home straight away. Ellie found herself sofa surfing between family members houses until she was put in touch with MACs who then supported Ellie to get back on her feet with a shared flat. Shortly thereafter her tenancy broke down due to environmental reasons and Ellie moved to the Simon Community Foyer Housing.

Upon arrival to the Foyer Ellie was nervous as this was her first hostel which was a totally different environment to what she was used to. As she settled into the Foyer she took in the surroundings of her new home finding things to be a bit hectic but after meeting a few of the other female clients, Ellie started to settle in.

Ellie started accessing the Women’s Advocacy Project as staff had referred her after a rough period upon arrival to the Foyer. Ellie was relieved to have access to the Women’s Advocacy Project as she felt unnoticed within the chaos in the service and was glad to receive this additional support.

Ellie first felt quiet and timid when she joined the Women’s Advocacy Group. After settling in and meeting new people she started to feel more confident with her surroundings. By working through group sessions carried out by Maureen, the Women’s Advocate, Ellie started to feel more relaxed around other clients, especially the females.

Ellie found the experience of moving to the Foyer quite difficult initially due to moving from quiet Co. Down to Belfast, living with other people in a hostel and feeling like she couldn’t trust anyone.

“Full time staff at the Foyer and Maureen, the Women’s Advocate, have made me feel welcome and I find they are approachable, friendly people. They have supported me with all aspects such as accessing mental health services, getting my benefits correct, with food and housing and appointments."

Access to Maureen’s groups have helped Ellie socialize more within the hostel and have a better understanding of other people in the hostel. As Ellie didn’t know Belfast very well, staff helped narrow down housing areas that are suitable and get more points. After coming from shared accommodation, Ellie feels like she would be more ready to have her own home.

Ellie hopes to have her mental health under control and to be able to move out into her own accommodation with a stable job that she enjoys in the near future.

“I feel like accessing the Women’s Advocacy service made me feel noticed as at the time I didn’t realize I needed the help myself.”

At Simon Community NI we respect everyone who comes to us for help. While this story is true, our client's identity has been changed to protect their privacy.