BLOG: Growing up in a Bed and Breakfast
ChangeIt! Steering Group member Anmol blogs about what it is like for children to grow up in B&Bs.
I have learnt how hard growing up without a real home can be. Between the age of 7 and 15 I moved house 15 times into different temporary accommodations. My Mum, a single parent, and I stayed in a B&B for about two months, it was dreadful.
We moved all our belongings into a tiny room. It was freezing cold, cramped and scary and everything was dirty. We moved there in winter, I remember it was snowing outside. The heating was expensive and barely worked. Someone came to check our room weekly and my mum used to explain that we were very cold. They used to write it down. But nothing ever happened. We couldn’t really cook proper meals because to use things like the cooker we had to pay extra for gas and electricity and we didn’t have enough money. I worried about my mum all the time because living like that was so stressful for her.
One of my worst memories was 'celebrating' my 14th birthday there. Although my mum tried so hard to make it special it wasn’t. It wasn’t homely and I felt too ashamed to bring my friends back to cut my cake. I wasn’t given any help or advice. It affected my mental health and left me with anxiety, I felt I lost all hope in my future.
When I was 16 we finally got a stable place to live and things for me are better now. My family have a house in a lovely neighbourhood, my little sister is in reception and I am in University living in student halls! I use my maintenance grant, student loan, and earnings from my part-time job to cover my rent. My family are secure, it’s like a different life.
All children and young people deserve a place to call home, a place they can feel happy to go back to after school, where they don’t feel ashamed to invite friends over and where they have space to grow up. When we lived in temporary accommodation I wasn't able to do homework or study but now I have a proper place to live I am able to accomplish so much.
I never used to feel comfortable talking about what I have been through but being part of Change It! gave me confidence to speak out and a platform to be heard from. Let’s work together. Let’s Change it!