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Hear from a service user

One of our service users, Natalie, explains how the Bond Board helped her turn her life around.

‘Straight away the woman from Bond Board came down from Rochdale. They went out of their way. There was no waiting period. They are brilliant; they have even helped me out with other things-when I had no money, when I was poorly.

The house is great, I was over the moon. It has laminated floors, two bedrooms, nice new fitted kitchen, nice colours, it is lovely. The Bond Board have also helped me out with top up payments. I think it is from a discretionary fund. I speak to them and they help to complete forms. They have also helped me with money and budgeting and help with the cost of gas and electricity. I have cut right back with my drinking, but still drink in the evenings so I don’t have much money. If the Bond Board know I am struggling, they get in touch with other organisations that can help me. I had some help with my council tax, for example. They know all the right places, all the right organisations when I can actually get help from. The worker from The Bond Board actually made the contact for me with these other organisations. They have put me on to the food bank also, in Rochdale. They helped me out a lot, and again here in Heywood. They gave me bedding, just some basics. When I needed something I would get in touch with the worker from Bond Board and she would find out where I could get help. Truthfully, without The Bond Board I would not be where I am now. I would not still have a home.

 Last year, my drinking was out of control. I was drinking as soon as I woke up. It was terrible. Plus when you’re homeless, you tend to hang around with the wrong people and you get all the peer pressure as they call it. Since I have had this house, I don’t hang about with people who are drinkers or taking drugs. I have more control myself. I don’t drink at all during the day now. I have cut right down on my addiction. Without The Bond Board, I might still be homeless, or somewhere unsuitable. The area is on a lovely street where most people have bought their own houses. It’s a nice area; you don’t see anyone sitting outside drinking, or on a wall.

It has helped with getting back in touch with my family. Me and my mum had fallen out for year over my drug addiction and stuff, but now my mum and I are really, really close. My relationship with my son is much better too, now that he can stay over sometimes.

I think the Bond Board are doing the best they can already. They say I am one of the success stories. They do have other people who they try to help and they mess it up, but they will still try to help them again, you know. If there was no Bond Board, there would not be people like me who are turning their lives around. I am praising them because they do a good job, and that’s it’.

(Name changed to protect identity).