Download a full copy of the 2015/16 report here.

The cover story tells how a Hope into Action house enabled Kerry to reconnect with her family:


A woman's story

My mum was a single parent. Things started to go very wrong for me when she met a new partner, who became more and more physically, mentally and sexually abusive towards me. Mum chucked me out of the house when I was a teenager, so I stayed with another family on the estate but was in a horrific house fire there.

At about 14, I was put into care, but was abused again at the children’s care home. I began to use drink and drugs as a way to escape the pain and did anything I could to survive. I had two daughters and two sons, but my children were adopted together to another family, as I wasn’t in a fit state to be the mother they needed me to be. I continued to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs and ended up suffering several nervous breakdowns before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I managed to get clean for a few years, but then fell back into drugs again. Throughout my life, I’ve been hurt and manipulated by people who I should’ve been able to trust – people who should’ve cared for me and kept me safe. I’ve wanted to die on more than one occasion and would often go to bed not caring whether I woke up the next day or not. Having been right at the very bottom, I’m now scraping my way back up.

I remember pleading with my doctor saying ‘I need some divine intervention right now, as I’m homeless again’. She told me about Hope into Action and the way they help people like me. I had two meetings to explore the possibility of moving in. I nearly didn’t move in, but I am SO glad I did! Looking back, it really feels like it was meant to be.

I’ve been here just over a year now (having moved into the house in June 2015). At first, I relapsed a lot, but after a particularly bad episode when I almost died, I’ve not touched anything since. The people from Hope into Action were bothering with me; for the first time in my life, I felt like I was worth something. Now I cherish every day as a blessing. Just eight weeks after moving into the house, one of my daughters got back in touch with me and I found out that I’m a grandma!

Things are definitely looking up for me. Hope into Action has given me the stability to regain what was stolen from me – I’m rebuilding relationships with my children and getting to know my grandchildren, and I’ve made some amazing friends at church. I still have my ups and downs of course, but my friends are my anchor; they keep me secure. I’m going to counselling now and I love it. It’s true what they say – life begins at 40!

To find out how your church could offer friendship like this, please get in touch with us on 01733 558301 or use the contact us button at the top of this page.