"Life was tough at home because often we didn’t have money for all of us to eat and my sister would have to go without. But when I am at school I know I can eat meals without feeling guilty, and when there are troubles at home I don’t worry as much. The opportunities I have been given are incredible."


Stephanie, 16, lost her mother to cancer when she was 11. She has never known her father, so went to live with her sister, who had three young children of her own. The family were living in relative poverty at the time.  

Stephanie’s story

In junior school, I went on a rock climbing wall for the first time and faced my fear of heights, with the support of my friends.  I faced my fear of water by doing kayaking in the swimming pool.  There have been many types of clubs that I have involved myself in and one of my favourite things here is the house spirit.  At home, I never really felt included in much and generally left out, but having one big family of older and younger girls alike in my house has been something I will never forget.  Lathering pink paint on each other's faces and scoffing pizza before trying to scrape the paint off of our faces has been a highlight and I have fond memories of the girls.

Not only that, but here I have felt geniune care towards me.  My self-confidence was low.  I wasn't used to hugs and people smiling at me.  Although it may not seem like much, but the care and understanding has meant the world to me and got me into as happier place.


Read a selection of wonderful THANK YOU letters!