Daniella’s story


At only 22, Daniella was approached by our Outreach team while sleeping rough. She had been sofa surfing during her last year at university, where she studied English literature.

“This moment changed everything for me.

SPEAR’s Outreach Workers gave me a sleeping bag and checked that I had credit on my phone. They called me the next day saying they had a room for me through the ‘Everyone In’ scheme.

I moved to a few different accommodations but SPEAR always took care of me and then found me a more permanent place.”

Daniella had been through the care system due to her mother suffering from poor mental health and asking her to leave the family home. Her key worker at SPEAR supported her to register with a GP, apply to housing benefits, and introduced her to our Springboard Young Person’s Project.

“My key worker helped me get health support, I didn’t understand what was wrong with me

 but then I was diagnosed with complex PTSD. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Springboard and SPEAR- I probably would have not even been diagnosed properly to even know why I was depressed.

 I was so lost, I didn’t know what to do.

Having Springboard there, bringing young people together, was so important because I was depressed, always in my room.

Because of my past, of what happened to me, my confidence was shattered. I was anxious to go out and talk to people.

With Springboard, we went to a play which was amazing and at the end they said that none of the people in the play were actors, they were all young people from various backgrounds that they trained to act, and I thought I want to have this confidence, to be able to stand on the stage in front of people, to talk to people, to even be around this many people, I want to be able to do that!

And I remember I was at a point where I kept having PTSD episodes so when Springboard helped me join that theatre it put my mind at ease, I had purpose. I was going every Saturday.

It was amazing, I build my confidence and I wasn’t angry at the world anymore, I learned that you can’t change what happened to you but you can change how you view the world.”


After joining SPEAR’s peer mentoring programme, the Springboard project supported Daniella to take a Level 3 Education and Training course. She now works for a charity as a career specialist to support young people who have been through the care system to receive training and employment and rents her own flat.

“ I’m very happy where I am. I’m very happy that I’m helping young people.

I’m also in the process of setting up my own project. They say it takes a village to raise a child but what happens when that child has no village? Or no community they can reach out to? I want to teach young people how to navigate social media management, how to use AI, how to be their own agent with key skills which are entry ways to getting jobs.

Springboard inspired me to work with young people.

To me Springboard was important because you’re so alone when you go through homelessness and no one can really relate, not even your close friends. Having like-minded young people come together is firstly so good for your mental health, you’re getting out of your place and encouraged to talk to others.”

Other stories...

Igor’s story

Our Outreach team have been supporting Igor, aged 33, who was found sleeping rough in Richmond.

Ashley’s story

Ashley first experienced homelessness at the young age of 16 due to a family breakdown before finding work with accommodation. Just over 18, he lost his job and was pushed into homelessness again. He spent a few months sofa surfing before having to sleep rough.

Andy’s story

Andy experienced homelessness when, under complex circumstances, he could not access his home or tools. After losing everything and several months on the streets, Andy’s mental health worsened. After coming into contact with SPEAR, Andy was assigned a case worker who supported him to find accommodation and get involved with the local community.

Krzysztof’s story

Krzysztof was found sleeping rough by our Richmond Outreach team in 2021. He experienced street homelessness due to a relationship breakdown. In July 2021, Krzysztof, as part of the Housing First scheme, signed into a ten-year tenancy for a flat of his own. A few months later, in 2022, Krzysztof was supported to pursue his interests including an English language course.