Chelsea’s Story

23 year old Chelsea has been supported by the Aberlour Family Support Service – Glasgow team since she was in school. Find out from her how Johnny and her support workers have helped her to be proud of her life.

My Story

“I didn’t have the best upbringing. I lived with my Nana and Grandad as my parents weren’t around anymore. I was getting into trouble and my Nana and Grandad couldn’t deal with me. They were going to put me in a home because I was so badly behaved.”

“There was nothing they could do to stop me. I was suspended every week from school for fighting or hitting teachers and then I was involved in gang fighting on the streets of Glasgow. That is where I met Johnny from Aberlour, 12 years ago.”

Aberlour really helped to turn my life around

“When I met Johnny, he really turned my life around. Right now, I would probably be in jail if it wasn’t for him taking me off the street and taking a lot of people I know off the street. Helping us with our education and other important stuff. It is hard to describe how much he has changed my life, but he has changed it for the better.”

“Johnny encouraged my friends and I off the streets by giving us stuff to do. We played football, took part in 5k runs and he would take us away on day trips. He arranged activities so that we weren’t stuck on the streets, so we weren’t getting involved with violent acts, and doing stuff we shouldn’t be doing.”

“He and Julie then took us away on residential trips to Loch Lomond and Iona. We would take part in team activities like raft building and camping, which really brought you out of your comfort zone. We learned lots of different skills which we never would have done before. We had to take turns at doing the dishes and cooking food for everyone. It was great to meet different people from all different areas and backgrounds.”

Providing support throughout my life

“Johnny has been there throughout everything in my life, always someone to talk to if I need to. He introduced me to peer mentoring, where I was training to be a mentor not only to my friends but to the younger kids that were coming in. It was all about spending time with each other, listening and them knowing that what they were telling me was confidential. But, I was learning what was important enough to tell Johnny so he could help them. I could speak to them because I knew what it was like to be on the streets, about real life and how it could change if they got off the street.”

“I really wouldn’t be where I am now without Johnny and Aberlour. He helped me get my first job at Impact Arts. I really loved working there as I was working with the elderly and I got to talk and interact with them. I am proud of all the volunteer work I have done not only for Aberlour but also the British Heart Foundation, which I wouldn’t have gotten involved with if it wasn’t for Johnny. Completing all the volunteering hours really helped me to get jobs, helped me to learn about helping young people and helping myself develop.”

Even now, with my own kids Aberlour support me

“I’m 23 now, and Johnny and Chloe from Aberlour still help and support me when I need them. I have kids of my own now and they both are there to talk to and make things a bit easier.”

“Chloe has been helping me with my housing as there is water coming into the house and damaging all our things. It isn’t good for the kids immune systems, breathing that in and there are also maggots coming into the house. Chloe has been coming to the housing with me and speaking with the MSP to get it fixed.”

“She also helped get funding to replace the kids clothes, my clothes, the washing machine and carpets that have all been damaged by the water.”

“Then at Christmas I was struggling and Aberlour brought loads of toys to my house, there were so many toys. Christmas was hard. Feeling like you aren’t doing good enough, I know my kids don’t understand as they are so young, but you feel hurt that you’re not giving them what you think you should be giving them, so it was great what Aberlour brought to me.”

“Johnny has also helped me when he realised, I was dyslexic. He helped me to get support, because I didn’t know how to read or write, and I am learning now. It is a big support that they have helped me with that and now I can read my children bedtime stories.”

“I believe if it wasn’t for Johnny and Aberlour I would have gone the wrong way, but instead I went the good way. I could have thought well my Mum didn’t care, my Dad didn’t want to bother with me, which people do but I didn’t. That is what I was doing before Johnny, I just didn’t care about myself, I didn’t care about others around me and what I was doing to hurt other people. When now I wouldn’t want my kids to be like that. I am just glad I was able to change my life. Everyone comments on how different I am now; how different I am from when I was in school when I was still going off the rails. When I met Johnny and I had a club to go to that is when it changed.”

“Honestly without Johnny and Aberlour, I do think I would be in jail. Or because my Nana couldn’t have coped, I would have been in a home and I would’ve had a different kind of experience. I wouldn’t have had my kids and they are the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

my life is good

“When I was younger, I was like look at me I have had a hard life. Now I know there are people out there with a life worse than me, they are in a worse state than me. When now I feel my life is good, my house might not be good with everything that is going on, but my life is good. I have been a success as a mother, as I am getting help. My kids will see what I have done with my life, because of Aberlour, they will see the volunteering I have done and want to go do it and help young people. I can show them that I can support them through the changes in their life.”

“If you are looking to support a charity then definitely support Aberlour as it helps people like me, who need support to get them off the streets. I know there are a lot of young people hanging about the streets and they are not getting the support they need; they feel like they have no purpose. Aberlour would help them like they helped me, get them jobs and help them do better in themselves. There are a lot of people Johnny and Aberlour have worked with to turn their life around. But there are more young people who need help.”

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    Related Services

    Aberlour Family Support Service – Glasgow

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