Below are the stories of just a few of the many peoples whose lives we have helped to change.
Single mum Mel came to Community House in unhappy circumstances. After signposting her to WORTH for help with domestic abuse, Mel became a volunteer and then a sessional worker. Mel gained qualifications in gardening, first aid, health and safety and as a mini bus driver. She went back to work as a part time cleaner and then set up her own gardening business. Mel now works full time with a business partner. Community House also helped Mel find support for her son’s behaviour issues, as well as debt management.
Matt is a Worthing Homes’ tenant with mental health issues and Community House has helped reduce his isolation by developing volunteering opportunities in the safe Community House environment – undertaking general DIY and gardening. When unwell we keep in regular contact and he has since returned to work. Matt now talks publicly at the Worthing Homes residents’ conference.
Paul is a single father of 4 boys. He was in care from a young age and has low educational attainment. He has led a life of crime and drug abuse and doesn’t trust authority. It’s taken 2 years for Paul to begin to trust us at Community House. We have arranged counselling, practical help in shopping, healthy eating/cookery for the whole family to reduce their dependency on takeaways. The family now enjoy shopping/cooking together. We have helped Paul complete forms, made doctor’s appointments and talked to other services on his behalf.
Shirley is a single mum with a traumatic childhood and who suffered domestic violence. She at first refused to come to Community House, not really ready to trust anyone, but then came in to use the phone, which is free to use for those people that need it. After a long chat, Shirley and her children decided to join in some of the Community House activities. Shirley progressed to volunteering and helps run the ‘The Crew’ teenage group and the over 11’s cookery class. Shirley has been referred to the Family Intervention Programme and received counselling for one of her children who refuses to go to school.
Maureen had a disrupted childhood and lives locally. Her background means that she has a high risk of becoming involved in criminal behaviour. Maureen initially became involved as a young Community House service user, and was encouraged to become a volunteer. She is now a highly effective sessional worker.
Val became a Worthing Homes’ tenant when she was fleeing domestic abuse in London. After volunteering at Community House, Val joined the Creative Wave class and her work has been exhibited on Worthing Pier for 12 months. We helped Val gain relevant work experience and she now volunteers at a special needs’ school – another step in her journey to gain further experience in her field of interest.
is a retired lady who felt isolated and lonely until she became a Community House volunteer. She’s been a fantastic influence on the young mums’ group, helping them to access other external services. She now works at Queen Alexander Hospital helping ex servicemen.
*All names have been changed to protect privacy