*Rosa’s real name has been changed to protect her identity.

Women’s Services – Rosa’s story

“I broke up with my partner when I was 4 months pregnant due to emotional abuse and violence. I had worked and had a normal life up to this point.

I had a difficult birth via an emergency caesarean section due to pre-eclampsia. This took its toll on me, especially since I have no family or support here. I went home from the hospital and planned to go back to work but just couldn’t cope. I lived on my maternity allowance, but this was inadequate.

I went to see my GP and he prescribed Sertraline and another anti-depressant drug to help me cope with the chaotic thoughts and my low self-esteem. I quit my job after 11 months.

The GP also referred me to Synergy, and I was given a place at Bridge House. Things were up and down for a while as I had to get used to sharing a bathroom and kitchen a communal area. Everyone doesn’t have the same hygiene standards!

Things have improved a lot and now we share a sense of family and there is always someone to talk to. The staff have been extremely helpful, not only helping me to apply for benefits (something I had never done) but being there with me throughout and now helping me to sort out accommodation to move on in the next few weeks. Being here, I have learnt to trust and become tolerant of others. I enjoy taking part in activities. We have ‘Speak Out’ meetings where we can discuss issues pertaining to the house, arrange cleaning schedules etc. Best of all you have the space to just be a mother.

This house and Penrose have given me the confidence to accept that even though I fell on hard times, I do not have to stay stuck. I am planning to go back to university to study mental health nursing and getting out of the system. I am so happy that places like this exist to help women. There are all sorts of people here who have fallen on hard times.

But I am looking forward to a bright future, me and my boy.”

Rose is now doing very well and has settled in the community.

Women Services in London

Women Services in Luton

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