Tyne Stories, Chapter 3: Jane’s Story
Ouseburn Farm is a subsidiary of Tyne Housing and a registered charity in its own right. It is a visitor attraction for the local community as well as an education and training centre for adults with learning difficulties and additional needs. We meant Jane* at Ouseburn Farm during one of her volunteering sessions, where she was cleaning the small animal room and caring for the creatures that live there.
“I live with my mam in Newcastle. When I was little something really horrible happened to me which has meant I’ve found it difficult to leave the house. I’ve had loads of help through counselling and stuff but not much has made a difference until recently I spent every day sleeping and then would just be awake at night so I didn’t have to see anyone outside of my house.
I sometimes would go to the corner shop, but I even found that really hard and the only person I felt like I could trust or speak to was my mam. It was her who encouraged me to come to Ouseburn Farm. At first, I didn’t want to come, but in June 2018 I did it and joined the Ouseburn Farm Growing Together Programme. The first week was really tough, I found everything overwhelming and was crying all the time, but the staff there really helped me, and because I started to feel comfortable with them, I felt I could keep going and come back the next week.
Joining the programme has honestly changed my life, after a while I started to help out the staff more, supporting some of the others in the class too which really helped my confidence and made me see that I wasn’t just the odd one out as so many other people had their own struggles too. I now volunteer at the Farm every week, mainly helping out with the small animals, but also supporting the trainees in their work which I absolutely love.
Outside the Farm, I now have a great circle of friends, and for the first time ever I recently went to a pub and spend a lot more time socialising and trying new things thanks to my confidence growing and feeling like I can trust people again. I want to keep developing myself and learning new skills so that I can maybe one day go on to get a full-time job, but for now, I’m just so happy to be where I am, not letting the past rule my life, but feeling excited about what the future holds.”
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of volunteers.
About Tyne Stories
Tyne supports thousands of people every year, providing access to housing, healthcare, training and more. Many of the people we work with have experienced homelessness and other complex challenges that are often misunderstood.
Our Tyne stories initiative has been set up to provide a platform for people to tell their own story in a way that’s authentic to them. We want to empower those that often feel powerless and challenge the stereotypes that are attached to homelessness and people living with complex challenges.