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Life at Sanctuary Supported Living’s (SSL) Banbury Foyer proved to be a turning point for Sophie* in overcoming substance abuse and gaining her own independence.

Young woman writing at a desk by a window

Sophie*, 19, was living with her parents in Banbury when she started using a variety of substances, which, coupled with a chaotic lifestyle, placed a strain on her parents and eventually led to her being asked to leave the family home in January 2015, resulting in a year spent sofa surfing.

After being referred to SSL’s Banbury Foyer in January 2016, which provides supported accommodation for people aged 16 to 25 years, Sophie developed the skills she needed to live independently and has now moved on to a place of her own in the town.

When Sophie was first referred to the Foyer, she was able to work with staff to draw up a personalised support plan so she could develop the skills she needed to gain her independence.

By taking courses in first aid, fire safety and food hygiene, Sophie not only learned how she could improve aspects of her personal life but was inspired to take a Level Two Health and Social Care qualification at Banbury College.

Sophie has also gone on to further success in achieving C in GCSE English, volunteering with the Nicodemus Trust and taking a DIY workshop at the college.

Motivated by her successes at the Foyer, Sophie was inspired to apply for a Business Studies course at Oxford College, where she now studies.

She said: “When I first moved to the Foyer, I didn’t care about where my life was taking me, or even what was happening to me.

“However, I do care now and I want to prove to myself and others who doubted me that I am able and capable to achieve all I want in life. I am determined to do this.”

In addition to her studies, Sophie has been able to find part-time work as a sales assistant in a local clothes retailer, a role her support workers helped her to prepare for through CV advice and interview practice.

Sophie added: “I have become a more independent person; one who is definitely more respectful to others, to myself and my property.

I feel I have put all negative feelings aside and try to look at all the positives in my life and my future; I’m always looking for ways to better myself and expand my knowledge in different areas. At the Foyer, I was able to surround myself with nicer, positive people who helped make me the person I am today.

Sophie*, Resident

* Sophie is a pseudonym.

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