"I had a dream that I would go off to university, meet new friends and get a foot hold within society. My mother was an alcoholic and I had younger siblings. It became clear I was going nowhere; I couldn’t leave my baby sisters. I became depressed and started drinking and misusing drugs. I was at breaking point and I had nowhere to turn. My doctor gave me a TAB leaflet; it sat on my cabinet for two weeks.

Issy aged 15, came to TAB one lunchtime in desperation as she didn't know where else she could get help. Her mother's new partner had started touching her, and making suggestions that she didn't like. She was terrified of being alone with him, especially as her Mum worked nights sometimes.

I'm 18. This is a little bit about me and the struggles I started to face once I turned 8 yrs old.

At 8 yrs old I was diagnosed with epilepsy and shortly after that I was also diagnosed with a benign tumour on my brain which as you can imagine was very distressing for me and my family.

At 13 yrs old I was admitted to hospital to have brain surgery and the tumour removed.

I first went to TAB when I was 13 yrs old as I was struggling at school; I met with Justin and we had a few sessions, but at that time I wasn’t ready for change and soon drifted back to a life that revolved around cannabis and not really caring about what happened to my life. Even though I left Justin said to me that when ever I felt ready he would be there to support me.

At 14 yrs old I was thrown out of school for my behaviour and attitude towards teachers

...and here are some recent comments from three other clients:

“I couldn’t stop using social media because I didn’t want to miss out on what was being said. It then turned nasty and I was receiving really horrible comments about me. I lost all self-confidence and stopped going out of the house. I started to hate myself and then began to self-harm. My GP told me about The Abingdon Bridge. That was last year. I am now in a much better place thanks to TAB.”

Alice*(14)

 

 

“If you have heard about County Lines, that was what I was doing. I was a courier for drugs. The dealers became my mates. It all then went downhill and I was being threatened by them. I was scared. I daren’t tell my parents – they would kill me. I felt like killing myself. It’s been a long journey but TAB has saved my life.”

Damien* (15)

 

 

“My dad died when I was young. My life fell apart. I stopped going to school. I was with a bad crowd.   I was out of control. I didn’t know any different. When I was picked up by TAB I was not a very nice person.

I am now very different. I am in good shape and I can think straight. I am beginning to feel much better about myself.”

George* (19)

* not their real names, to protect their identities