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'My life was chaos:' Foundation helps turn Mia's life around

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 16 September 2019

Mia is hoping to work in childcare and she has applied for an apprenticeship. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Mia is hoping to work in childcare and she has applied for an apprenticeship. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Archant

When Mia was younger, she was a self-confessed rebel.

Mia moved into The Hub in March this year and it has changed her life. Picture: Ruth LawesMia moved into The Hub in March this year and it has changed her life. Picture: Ruth Lawes

School was tough, she fell into the wrong crowd and was often untraceable late into the night.

The 16-year-old said: "I was a rebel and I was driven by adrenaline. I used to like not knowing what was going on and would seek adventure just for adventure's sake. My life was chaotic."

Mia, from Thetford, also had a challenging background and found the lack of structure was having an impact on her well-being.

She said: "I spent 10 days in foster care with a nice family and before that I lived [with family]. Everything around me was changing when I was taking my exams at school which was a bit hard."

Mia was then referred on to The Hub in Norwich by her social worker, which offers support and accommodation for young people aged 16 to 18 in centres across Norfolk.

She moved there in March this year and said: "The first month there I was still rebelling and I didn't make any relationships there initially.

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"I wouldn't come back if I went out, I didn't stick to my curfew and I would sneak people into the Hub just to make a statement."

But after a few months, she began to settle down, which she credits to the staff who are available for support around the clock.

"Before I didn't know where to go or where to end up and had no relationships," she said. "But now I am looked after and feel loved. It's just such a home environment and I'm really happy.

"I have built some really nice relationships here. I live with two other people as well in The Hub and we all get along well."

The staff, who give employment advice along with pastoral care, have encouraged Mia to pursue her dream career and she is now making steps towards an apprenticeship in childcare.

Mia said: "I really love working with children and I want to teach them things I wasn't taught when I was younger."

The Benjamin Foundation, which runs The Hub, is organising a sleep out in Norwich to raise money for youth homelessness.

Register for the sleep out here

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