‘He’s helped me get my life back and made me feel I am genuinely a person’ - how BackPacks turned Alice’s life around
PUBLISHED: 16:57 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:44 25 June 2020
A mother who was regularly threatened and held at knifepoint by her abusive ex-partner said without the support of 50 Backpacks Vision, she would not have been able to turn her life around.
Throughout her 10-year relationship, Alice was often abused, and left feeling petrified in the Wisbech home she also shared with her son, now aged nine.
“It was happening on a daily basis, he did some nasty things,” she said. “Outside the hostel, he came there when I moved to that address and held me at knifepoint, threatening to stab me.
“I was petrified and scared to do anything, like going out to the shops. I just ended up staying in all the time and anxious. I felt worthless.”
After leaving her ex-partner, Alice became homeless and so she turned to Simon Crowson, who she knew from her time at The Ferry Project and offered her a weekly shift at the charity’s food outlet, the Grub Hub.
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“I was privately renting a property at the time, which was unsuitable to live in and he helped me get onto various links and offered courses on anxiety, which he holds every week,” Alice said. “He supported me while the incident was happening, like when my ex-partner went on remand and I was waiting for the trial to happen.
“Simon put me on courses he did at the Grub Hub, about self-esteem and anxiety which helped an awful lot. He would have chats about safeguarding and he helped brilliantly to get my self-esteem back up.”
Since leaving her ex-partner around seven years ago, Alice is now a full-time mum living in Cambridge with her new partner and has two children.
She believes that her hometown needs something like 50 Backpacks, and without receiving that support, she would not feel as confident as she does now.
“Wisbech needs him; he wants to help everybody and when he says he’ll try and do something for them, he will. He doesn’t give up until the problems are resolved,” she said.
“He’s helped me get my life back and made me feel I am genuinely a person. “If it wasn’t for 50 Backpacks, I’d still be having issues and I don’t think I’d be as strong like I am today.”
As 50 Backpacks chair Simon said: “It’s easy to sit at a desk and tick boxes, but I believe the evidence of help comes from the people themselves.”
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