"I want to do what normal people do" - Sonia's story

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Photos of soniaSonia is a remarkable lady who recently participated in our Positive People Programme supported by our partner Chaos.

Sonia’s story is one of hardship, abuse, homelessness, loss and severe addiction. Yet, she is now well on her way to recovery. When we met her for her Positive People makeover, she is happy and friendly with a sparkle in her eyes.

Sonia spent the majority of her childhood in and out of various children’s homes, never knowing her own parents. At 13, after being fostered, Sonia found herself desperately unhappy and living on the streets. Moving around Norwich, Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland with no real stability, Sonia found comfort in drinking with addiction becoming a part of her everyday life. 

Marrying at just seventeen, Sonia had her first child and found herself in a violent and abusive relationship with her husband spending a lot of time in jail.

As a single mother, Sonia made it clear that “living on the streets was better than living with him". Sonia spent the majority of motherhood bringing up her children in temporary accommodation. At one point, she was living on the streets whilst pregnant until housing could be found for her. Determined to give her children all the comfort and stability she could, Sonia obtained a camper van, took the seats out and made it into a little home for herself and her children.

Life was cruel, Sonia’s addiction took over and her children needed to go into care. Life became chaotic and plunged Sonia into the depths of human deprivation living a dysfunctional existence on the streets. Sonia found herself in yet more abusive and destructive relationships and her story repeated itself – violence, addiction and loss.

January 2017 was a turning point for Sonia as she suffered from pneumonia twice in two months. The medical staff were very concerned for her well-being. After becoming extremely ill and weighing just five and half stone she decided to seek help. 

makeover photoSince being in rehab Sonia’s hopes are high for a new beginning. After a full day of pampering which involved new clothes, a new cut and colour, facial, massage, manicure and full makeup she looked like a new woman! 

Now Sonia wants “To do what normal people do. Just to learn how to do something new, take my driving test and get a healthy hobby". The potential of having her eleven year old twins living with her is the dream that keeps her going. 

Positive People is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.