Before I came to Signposts, I had been rough sleeping in Dunstable for about a year, sleeping under hedges and wherever I could. I would go to the Salvation Army in the day to have a shower and the library was brilliant - they would let me sit in a corner and quietly get a few hours’ sleep.
I never begged, I managed on my benefits and I hung around with other rough sleepers, mostly men, who were often drunk. I felt a sense of safety with them being a woman sleeping rough, although sometimes their behaviour was not great.
I was told about a hostel in Bedford but there would be no guarantee of a bed, I would have to go there and queue up. I couldn’t afford to use my money to travel to Bedford and take the risk of there being no bed, so I didn’t go.
One day when I was at my GP, he asked if I had heard about a charity called Signposts. I gave them a call and had my assessment on Monday. There were no beds available that day but they said they would be in touch as soon as a bed became free. I moved into Signposts One on the Thursday of that week. I was absolutely petrified, I had no idea what it would be like and had thoughts of people using drugs etc.
As soon as I moved in I met another resident and his daughter, they were really friendly and invited me to sit with them, we soon became good friends. I quickly made other friends, there were so many nice people and the staff were amazing, I really loved it there. It was so nice having meals cooked, eating together - I felt comfortable and safe.
"I loved doing the jobs, working as part of a team. I remember taking part in Clean for the Queen. I loved giving back to the community and feeling like part of the town.
Someone told me about Team SP and invited me to the Friday meeting. I was apprehensive but they said come along it will be fun. I went with them and absolutely loved it, everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I wanted to give something back and this gave me an opportunity to volunteer. I loved doing the jobs, working as part of a team. I remember taking part in Clean for the Queen. I loved giving back to the community and feeling like part of the town.
After I left Signposts I moved to Wales into a 2-bedroomed flat in Barry Island. I have been working part time in a call centre. My main ambition is to go back on the buses - I am a bus driver by trade.
Be a part of someone’s journey to a brighter future
We have been at the forefront of new developments for over 30 years, and we are extremely proud to have incorporated a number of innovative approaches to support provision. Times have changed and jargon has changed, but the need to find hope and dignity is still the overriding aspiration for those who come to Signposts.
The wonderful group of people we support possess an array of skills and talents, which sometimes lay dormant, but can be used to benefit both the individual and our local community. Our aim is to provide a culture of using and sharing these skills, learning new skills, and working together to create a great community. Your generous donation will be used to fund our work.
You can donate using Virgin Money or JustGiving using the links below.
If you are interested in donating on a regular basis or want to fundraise for us, we would be delighted to hear from you. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.