Posted May 1, 2014

Day 4 - Yvonne's Story

Category Uncategorised

The story of Yvonne is the final one in our series about our clients and the difference Fresh Start has made in their lives.

Yvonne (56) moved back to Edinburgh in 2012 after her dreams of making a new life abroad were shattered.

It was Yvonne and her partner’s dream to move to a sunnier climate and start a new life. In 2006 they decided to make it come true and leave their life in Milton Keynes to move to the Costa del Sol.

They opened a bar together and everything was going well for the pair. But in 2009 the recession struck and struggling with costs of the bar, and relationship strains, the couple went their separate ways. After trying to make a go of it alone, Yvonne admitted defeat and returned to the UK with nothing.

Returning to Edinburgh to be close to family, she had to start from scratch and lived with family while she waited for a house of her own. During this time she struggled with feelings of anxiousness.

After a year-and-a-half on the housing list, and just a month before Christmas, she was finally offered her own house. But while she was delighted to have been offered it, it didn’t feel like home. She moved into an empty shell, no bedding, no curtains, not even a mug to make coffee for visitors.

Yvonne says without Fresh Start she would have struggled to make the place into a home.

“If it hadn’t been for Fresh Start and a grant from the Council, I would have spent Christmas in a bare shell. There was nothing in it. I only had a bed and a few things I had brought back from Spain,” she said.

The Fresh Start Hit Squad arrived and worked for two days to help decorate two rooms but Yvonne said they brought much more than just paint and brushes.

“I was overwhelmed by the support from them. The staff were amazing and the volunteers were fabulous. I didn’t think there was anything out there to help people in my situation; to help give them a new start in life. It’s hard to try to start your life again. Fresh Start helped with more than just the decorating, they also helped emotionally, getting two rooms done so close to Christmas was just amazing and a real boost,” she said.

As well as the Hit Squad, Yvonne also received some of Fresh Start’s Starter Packs. These included a crockery set, which included mugs so she could have friends round and pots and pans so she could enjoy her love of cooking and baking again.

“As I was living on my own, it would have taken me a lot longer to get my flat to feel like home. Then just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door, and there was Fresh Start with a ‘Christmas Starter Pack’, with decorations and Christmas cake in it! They really went out there way to make it the best possible Christmas,” she said.
Yvonne has now been living in her new home for over four months and thanks to the impetus provided by Fresh Start has decorated all the rooms.