“I’m not normally one to be short of words, but I can’t find the words to express my gratitude to Aspire for the support I’ve received since being referred to the HOME project from Turning Point 18 months ago. I was on the brink of homelessness as I was struggling with my mental health, had relapsed into substance misuse and living at home with my family wasn’t helping to improve these issues. I felt very nervous, ashamed of myself, and struggled to go out.

After my referral I came to Oxford to meet HOME’s Lisa and Kerry, and this is where my new life chapter started. Lisa and Kerry reassured me that they could help me to leave my situation, and within 2 weeks I had a large new room in a house in Headington. Lisa and Kerry helped me with food vouchers in emergencies, supported me to register with health services, provided a shoulder to lean on and checked in on me regularly, until I felt able to start doing things for myself.

In December 2022 I moved into a different house in Oxford, but still found myself struggling with my mental health, and scared to see a doctor. Kerry accompanied me to my first doctor’s appointment, and has joined me at nearly every appointment since - the time given and patience shown by both Lisa and Kerry is beyond words.

Aspire has supported me with household items, tools and plants to tend to my garden, and helped me to interact with others on a similar path, with a housemate I get on well with, and activities such as fishing and Blenheim walks through Aspire’s Social Prescribing project. I recently received a formal diagnosis for my mental health, now have access to the support and medication I need, and have managed to stop smoking cannabis.

I feel my life is now back on track and on an upward trajectory, as I’m now helping myself to get better. I have a good life, and now realise that the support I’ve received has also given me the opportunity to do so much more. I would really like to give back to Aspire as a volunteer for the support I have received - be it gardening in the other supported properties, or even befriending some of the other people starting their support journeys with Aspire.”