Before I came to Emmaus, my life wasn’t good. My childhood was difficult. I lived with my nan, but she died when I was 11 so I went into care.

I spent some time at boarding school and went back to my mum for a while, but it was all really patchy. At various points I had nowhere to go and lived on the streets.

Fighting, drinking and drugs were my life then and I was in and out of prison. There were good bits: I’d get a job and things would go well, but then I’d get in trouble again, and lose it.

When I look back, I know I hung around with the wrong crowds, drinking and taking drugs.

I finally decided in 2012 that I’d had enough of prison, and in spite of everything, I’ve not been back since.

I eventually went to the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, and this made being on the streets more bearable, because of the help and support they give. I moved to Cranfield, but there were still problems until neighbours there told me about Emmaus Village Carlton and referred me.

Now, I feel I have a lot going for me. I have a son, who is 20, and I am trying to keep contact with him and my mum.

Emmaus has made me reflect on my life and what I want now that I’ve turned 40. It’s not perfect trying to live in a community but I feel much more positive.

I recently completed a ‘Giving Back’ sponsored walk, raising £700 for the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes. The walk was my way of saying “thank you” to the charity. They were there for me when I needed them. I’m planning another sponsored walk, this time to raise money for Emmaus Village Carlton.

I’m doing a training course called ‘Running your own Business’ and have a college place in September, to do a Painting and Decorating Level 1 Diploma. I would like to have my own painting and decorating business in the future.