I think it was probably 2015 when I first came to Life-Gate… My mum started coming first – she had bad depression so she came for some counselling and then started going to the school. She brought me along to the school too ‘cause she knew I needed help. My marriage was on the rocks, so I started coming to see Angel who did a few counselling sessions with my husband and I. Fast forward a year or so, and we had separated.
I was in a very dark place, so I started coming every week to the school and also came for regular counselling …coming every week kept me in the right head space… It kept me positive and gave me the will to keep fighting during the split, the court case, and for my kids.
Angel had a massive impact on me during my court case, to the point where people didn’t even realise what I was going through – they never knew until it was all over. I received a LOT of support. Angel also provided representation during the court case, letters and phone calls on my behalf. The counselling was very helpful and beneficial – there was a lot of practical stuff I got out of those sessions. It was a very safe environment and very useful for my life.
When the court case had ended, I had nothing and I needed a place to live. My ex-husband left me with absolutely nothing and I had two young kids to support. I had no furniture – not even a spoon or a fork to my name – I had absolutely zero. Life-Gate gave me financial assistance through the Magistrates Court funding. They helped me with my first month’s rent, helped cover the cost of moving into the house, enabled me to buy all the basic household items we needed just to live, gave us hampers and food to take the pressure off. They did so much for us!
I still struggle. I have my days, but every time I come, being there gives me that sense of hope and that sense of “Yep, you can do this!” …they give me the boost to keep getting my stuff [life] together.
Angel, Lauren and the volunteers have a real community heart and they reach out to the most broken and needy, taking those people under their wing and counselling them and being like a life-coach to them. Everyone [the Life-Gate team] is there because they want to be – it’s all from the heart. It’s not forced and it’s not religious… They make a massive difference – not just in my life but in the lives of everyone who goes there.
I’m so thankful for the financial support, the mental support, every Tuesday [the ‘Wisdom For Life’ training school], the encouragement, being family friendly and having a place where my kids are welcome too.