Pictured above - Staff, volunteers and residents from our Vulnerable Women's Project out for a Spring Walk.

The following case study has been written by a DASH volunteer based on a current DASH resident, who we are calling Megan.

Megan used to work for the County Council before the couples failed relationship turned her life into complete chaos. She ended up being unemployed and was drifting amongst many different properties. It was also during this chaotic period of her life that she first experienced the betrayal of society. As a result, she lost faith in herself, in organisations and in society at large.

It was DASH that restored that long lost trust. After getting kicked out from supported accommodation due to some conflicts with the other tenants, she contacted DASH and was later offered a place to stay. At the start, Megan worried that DASH would just be one of those disappointing organisations that had let her down. However, the supportive staff quickly dispersed Megan’s worries. The first thing that the staff did was explain to her everything that was going to happen. Megan deemed that as a memorable moment because that was the first time an organization had told her clearly what was what, instead of keeping her in the dark. To Megan, the staff at DASH really tried to listen to her, and they accepted her for who she really was rather than simply basing judgements on what was written on paper. The genuine and understanding staff allowed Megan to put her guards down and slowly begin to build trust with people.

A big turning point occurred in Megan’s life when DASH offered her an opportunity to take the debate training course at Durham University. The course enabled Megan to deploy her knowledge to discuss a variety of topics, and also further boosted her confidence by encouraging her to speak in front of the crowd. Not long after the course, Megan was chosen to represent DASH in a debate organised by DASH on homelessness. She used her own story to tell people that not everything was written in black and white. If it wasn’t for DASH, she never would’ve thought that one day she could use her own power to make a change in society.

Having stayed at the VWP for three months and having later successfully managed the move-on property, Megan has now got her own flat and has made it her permanent home. Looking back on her turbulent life journey, Megan wanted people to see her as a positive example that can give people hope. She had once hit rock bottom, but through DASH she regained hope and life is now improving.