Below are some trulty inspiring examples of the journeys that our residents have taken over the last year.

Happiness often sneaks through a door you didn’t know you left open

Broken Crayons can still colour, a quote that resonates with Doncaster Foyer and how Becky proved just that!

A young girl who had a story to tell that consumed her and held her back.

Becky worked incredibly hard to change her mind set, build her confidence and discover exactly what ‘Becky’ was about and what she had to offer the world. What started off as a coping strategy and a way to communicate with others Becky discovered her talent and passion for writing. This helped break down barriers for Becky in many ways.

Becky enjoyed being creative, there is picture in the office that

When Becky  moved on she said: ‘Happiness often sneaks through a door you didn’t know you left open’

Becky linked up with a writers group during her tenancy. She took part in workshops and started to share her work with others, she started to flourish.

Who knew that Becky would be stood on a stage, in a different city reading out her own work,  that her work would be published in a writer’s magazine. Watching and being part of Becky’s incredible reinvention and discovery of herself has been inspirational.

Who knew……!

I moved to Shilhay to sort my life out. I knew I needed to stop drinking, and I wanted a recovery house with support in Exeter. A local addiction agency put me in touch with Shilhay & I made a visit to see the staff there. I presented not being sober, and the staff were non-judgemental of this fact, and gave me information as to what to do next. I then had to take the required steps to gain sobriety, and prove to myself that I was indeed ready for the recovery journey.

Shilhay has always made me feel very safe, secure, protected, and content. There is a sense of community within a co-living environment, and particularly with other individuals who are working the 12 Step recovery programme as I am. There is always continual support from staff or other peers if I am feeling a bit wobbly around my addiction.

The support I have received has involved daily staff engagement, support planning to help change behaviours, and to keep safe. Encouragement from staff has led to a return to a greater sense of independence within personal, and community living.  Living with other peers who have the same issues as I am going through was, and still is a massive eye opener. Peer support to attend mutual aid group meetings was a massive help early on in my recovery, especially when your confidence is at a low level.

My continued hope is holding onto my sobriety, gaining more confidence, and returning to being a contributing member of society.

A 12 Step recovery journey within its own definition is, and has to be an individual experience. 12 Step recovery will help you explore what you were doing within the madness of your addiction, and help get your life back on track to a sense of ‘normality’ through righting the wrongs of a previously destructive lifestyle not only to yourself, but towards others, and help make change possible for your future. Shilhay provides me with a safe living environment, and staff support to continue with my recovery journey.

I was homeless in early 2017 and came to the Shilhay service via St Petrocks, a local homeless support centre.

I was an active alcoholic at the time and was offered a room in a ‘wet house’. I was glad to be off the streets but my drink problem remained and I didn’t address it.

Through my own behaviour I eventually got evicted from the ‘wet house’. It was the push I needed to finally address my addiction. I immediately stopped drinking and a few days later the Shilhay Manager gave me a chance and offered me a room in a ‘dry house’, which I gratefully accepted.

I started working the AA 12 Step Program and following the recovery house rules. I have been here for over two years now and have been sober throughout that time.

I am incredibly grateful to live in a sober and caring environment that has been invaluable in assisting me with staying sober and my continuing recovery.

I have received a great deal of support throughout my time at the project, both personal and practical in nature. I was put in touch with, and supported through meetings with, the charity CAP, to help with debt problems that have since been resolved. Things like this have made my life much more manageable which is a big part of recovery.

I know that when I need to move on from the project I will have support from the service to help me get suitable accommodation. The service has provided an environment that makes maintaining my sobriety and looking ahead to the future a much easier and rewarding prospect.



When Sarah moved into one of our saha supported services having met the criteria for homelessness or at risk of being made homeless.

At the time of the referral Sarah was pregnant and sofa surfing with friends having been told to leave the family home due to a relationship breakdown with her parents. The client faced many challenges at the beginning of her tenancy within the service.

A was required to sign a licence agreement, read and sign house rules, engage with the support, share communal living areas with complete strangers, learn to cook for herself and generally start gaining the skills ready for independent living. In addition Sarah has given birth and is now a single parent.

Whilst being at the service she has completed passport to Independence through 1 to 1 sessions and workshops. She has gained 3 AQA awards and has also completed the CAP course (Christians against poverty) which helps clients to budget and prevent debt.

Sarah has said she is now ready to move on into her own property and is very proud of what she has achieved whilst being at the service.

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.

Bob came to the service after becoming homeless due to a family altercation and did not have stable accommodation afterwards. When bob arrived he was suffering with poor mental health and needed to be reminded about GP appointments and when to collect his medication, he was unsure about the direction of his life having explored various options including college and work opportunities.
Intervention was put in place to help him navigate through his choices personal barriers and self doubt, the service arranged for a careers advisor to spend time with him on a weekly basis exploring his options. Other interventions were also put in place for Bob including budgeting support, cooking, nutrition support and move on preparation, he completed passport to independence and he completed five AQA awards.

After successfully volunteering at the YMCA Bob has now gained meaningful employment and been offered an internship.

“Living here has given me a lot of opportunities and also freedom. I am really enjoying the internship and upcycling furniture”

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