Please take some time to have a read of some of the powerful stories of Foyer residents both past and present.

Please be aware that the identities of the residents (where appropriate) have not been disclosed.

If you live, or have lived, in a Foyer or have a story to tell about working in or with your local Foyer then please contact us and we will be happy to share it on our website.

Our case-studies

Shoya Nelson – Shoya is an active volunteer who stops at nothing

Shoya Nelson, a resident at Enfield Foyer, talks about volunteering and the positive impact it has had on her life. “I was a volunteer sports leader before I went to Enfield Foyer where I got my…

Robert Craddock, an ex Rugeley Foyer resident – talks about becoming a Volunteer Co-ordinator

Robert Craddock, an ex Rugeley Foyer resident – talks about becoming a Volunteer Co-ordinator “I was appointed as a volunteer co-ordinator at my Foyer. I was grateful and surprised to be honest as I didn’t think…

Case studies from young people

Sean's visit to Downing Street


I left school at 15 years old with no qualifications. Soon after I decided to move in with my uncle and do a brick laying apprenticeship with him. The apprenticeship was good experience but living with my uncle didn’t work out and I ended up sofa surfing at friends’ houses for a while, until I was put in touch with Weston Foyer.

“Small things, like learning how to budget properly and having a decent sleeping pattern, have made a big difference.”

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Milka's story global story


I ended up alone in London with no home. At my lowest point when I thought I’d have to return to Austria having not accomplished what I’d set out to do, I was put in touch with Connexions who referred me to Focus E15 Foyer.

“My goal is to bring the issues of young people from the developing world to the attention of policy and decision makers.”

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Ollie's story


I was having difficulties with my parents, which was making growing up as a gay teenager all the more tough. A friend who was living at Bridge Foyer introduced me to the staff there and once I explained my situation, they were very helpful in securing me a place to live at the Foyer.

“I’m a different person now to who I was before my experience at Bridge Foyer.”

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Fabiens story vegtable face


I moved out of my nan’s house because it was very small and there wasn’t room for me to stay permanently. When I was referred and accepted to Creekside Foyer in Deptford it was a real relief. I saw it as an opportunity for me to finally have my own space and be an independent person.

“I’ve proved to myself that if I want something and work hard, I can achieve whatever I want in life.”

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Becci's story


My mum and I argued all the time when we lived together. Whenever things got really bad I’d run away, which was dangerous for me and stressful for her. In the end I decided it would be better to move out. I approached North Somerset Housing and among a pile of housing application forms, there was one for Weston Foyer.

“I grew up so much during my time in the Foyer.”

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Deanne's story public speaking


Growing up I had to look after my younger brothers, sisters and my mum. It was a lot of responsibility for someone of my age. In the end my school intervened and I was put into foster care. Then, at 17, I was given some information about Loughborough Foyer and decided to apply to live there.

“I’m gaining more than I ever thought I would from my time here.”

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Gavin's Trainers


The Foyer feels like more of a home than anywhere I’ve ever lived before. I was in a difficult situation before I moved here and I didn’t know what to do about it, but the Foyer has helped me to take control of my life.

“It was the encouragement and advice of my key worker that gave me the incentive.”

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Sharon's story


When I was 16 my adoptive mum told me we were moving to Spain. When we were over there I’d come home from school crying because I couldn’t speak Spanish, so I fell behind in lessons and found it hard to make friends. Eventually I spoke to my sister in the UK about how unhappy I was, so she came over to Spain and brought me back. I stayed with her for a while, but needed something more permanent, so I contacted Connexions who put me in touch with Barking Foyer.

“I’ve gained communication and teamwork skills, plus experience in dealing with suppliers and other external contacts.”

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Boyds story coffee cups


Soon after I was diagnosed with depression I decided to leave home as I saw the effect my mental health was having on my family. For a couple of weeks I slept rough and then spent some time sofa surfing at friends’ houses. I applied to live at Launceston Foyer after a friend of mine who was a past resident recommended it to me. It was the best decision I could have made. In the Foyer I’ve received counselling to help tackle my mental health issues, and the staff here have been great at picking me up on my bad days and being there when I need to talk.

“It’s been a big confidence boost to be part of the project and have my ideas listened to and valued.”

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Natalie's story fingerprint


After my parents split up I lived with my dad and his new girlfriend. Seven of us were in the same house so it was over-crowded and stressful and I avoided being there as much as possible. I wasn’t enjoying college either. I didn’t like my hairdressing course but I wasn’t sure what else to do.

“I needed a secure, comfortable home and that’s what was offered to me.”

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Valeria's home sweet home


I moved from Colombia to be with my mum in the UK. She had never taken sole care of me before and found it difficult to suddenly have a teenage daughter to look after. As a result, our relationship became strained and teachers at my school started to notice that I was having problems at home. I was referred to the Open University’s Young Applicants in Schools and Colleges Scheme (YASS), where I was told about Eastbourne Foyer.

“Living in my own place was strange at first, but I’ve started to enjoy it now and I know that anytime I have problems or questions I can still turn to the Foyer for help.”

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Suzi's story


I moved to London to get away from a difficult situation. I was a naive, confused young woman that thought a big city would be the answer to all my problems. In reality, I ended up in London, penniless with no home. Thankfully, I managed to get temporary accommodation at the YMCA and it was here that I found out about Foyers.

“I recently returned from Malawi where I worked as a freelance journalist.”

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Ian's on MyNav


I’m 25 years old and up until seven months ago, I was in and out of prison from the age of 16. I came to live in Scarborough Foyer after I was released from prison and told that the Foyer could offer me support if I wanted to stop offending.

“One of the reasons I’ve been able to stay out of trouble and out of prison has been MyNav – an online informal learning platform.”

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Sarah's story


When I fled a forced marriage, I was disowned by my family. With no one to turn to I approached my local council. They told me about Foyers and explained that they help young people with work, education and training needs. Education has always been important to me so the idea that I’d be encouraged to study appealed to me.

“Currently I’m studying for my Chartered Accountant Qualification, and I have an unconditional offer to study Accountancy at University College London.”

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Kaya's Press Pass


After supporting my parents through drug and alcohol rehab, I needed things to change. I wanted space to explore my interests and to do this I had to be away from home. I’d heard positive things about Plymouth Foyer, so I decided to apply to become a resident.

“It took time, but with support, I slowly became more comfortable with the people and the place.”

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Face drawn in the sand from Kevin's story


For the first time in ages, the Foyer has given me a safe and supportive environment to live in. The people here see your talents and potential and help you recognise these things in yourself.

“My goal now is to become a fully qualified Youth Worker.”

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Marcella's story make up me


A place at Ilford Foyer was a godsend, the support staff were amazing – they encouraged me to stay at university and made me see that I shouldn’t allow my dyslexia to hold me back. When I decided to start my business, I had help at every stage.

“Their support helped me to realise my true potential and I feel as though I’m living my dream.”

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Marvin's story, performance


The Foyer struck me as a homely place with a real sense of community. I wanted to be part of it, so I spoke to staff about becoming a resident.

“Whatever happens in the future though, I plan to continue working with young people.”

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