A Lifeline in Winter – Shirley’s Story

Shirley, now a volunteer at our Lifeline drop-in centre for homeless and vulnerable adults, first came to Bath after her 27 year marriage ended and her children were grown up. She had lost her home and her job.

Homelessness services introduced her to Gloria, Founder Manager at Lifeline.

“I was really honest with Gloria. I didn’t want my children to know where I was, because then I thought my ex-husband would find me. I don’t know if it was shame, I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to see them. About 6 weeks later, I was talking to my eldest daughter and I told her where I was. She came down straight away. She was just pleased that I was alright.”

Lifeline offered Shirley a warm, safe haven away from the streets, practical help with essential items such as food and clothing and the emotional support she needed to solve complex problems. As with all our visitors, we continued to support Shirley as she found permanent housing and started a new life.

“I had nothing, I was in the house but I had no bedding, nothing. So, I knew I could go to Lifeline and get some bedding. Gloria got me an ironing board, we got that through funding.”

With help from Lifeline and other agencies, Shirley completely turned her life around and was reunited with her children. She has been volunteering at Lifeline for 12 years now, providing emotional support and friendship to visitors, and giving food parcels to those most in need. Many of our visitors have had a very bad start in life and are particularly vulnerable due to learning and physical disabilities and mental health problems. Having been through homelessness herself, Shirley has a unique understanding of the complex problems our visitors face and helps people in real trouble who come through the doors every day.

For more information on Lifeline please see here.