In the words of Laura, one of our team:
Since I got out on the 31st of October, life has been really tough for me. I don’t really have family support so when I got out of jail I was homeless. I’ve been trying to get into somewhere but all the hostels are full of people from my past who will put pressure me to use drugs so I’m trying to stay away from them all. The first night I got out I ended up sleeping rough on a stair and then got robbed. The next few days were a total nightmare and I seriously thought that my life would be better if I was back inside.
Then I got a phone call from Josee at Freedom Unlimited who had been given my number by another support worker. From that moment, everything changed. She arranged for me to get a lift into the Freedom Unlimited workshop in Dalgety Bay the next day and for the first time in 5 days I felt safe and warm.
I love being at the workshop and so much has happened since then. I’ve been invited to speak at a couple of churches to share my story and I even got paid for one of the talks. People were almost crying.
Even though I’m still homeless and just sleeping on different friends couches, and my life is pretty chaotic, I manage to get into “Freedom” 3 days per week. On Tuesdays, I’ve been doing some woodwork as well as keeping the place tidy, on Wednesday’s I continue with my sewing training that’s linked in with Seamless Transitions that I went to when I was inside the prison, and on Thursdays, I mostly work with Josee as her assistant. We also do some one on one coaching sessions to help me with some of the complications I am trying to deal with.
One of the highlights since I got out was being able to go to the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow. I was able to tell the customers all about the sewing classes and a lot of people were really touched that I was trying to change my life around. I also got asked to do an interview for the Scottish Prison Service on film about my experiences since I got out and how hard it is to adjust to life outside after being in prison.
Most people don’t really understand all the hardships involved and the complications of it all. But every day that I manage to stay out of prison and every day that I get to go into work, is a day that I’ve achieved something positive and I have more hope for a better future.
Josee and Laura at the Country Living in Glasgow with some of our cushions.
A word from Josee:
Laura’s full story would break your heart and I would like to see her write a book one day when she has fully conquered all her mountains and come out on top. I have rarely heard a tale so harrowing, and after the hardship, abuse and trauma Laura has lived through I can only marvel at her resilience and strength and sheer will-power to survive. If you would like to help us help her and others like her, please support our work by buying our products consider sponsorship.