Broadacres’ supported housing scheme for young people has helped put a teenager on the path to realising her childhood dream.

After witnessing a friend get into difficulty whilst swimming when they were younger, Sarah has always wanted to become a lifeguard and in particular, a lifeguard on a cruise ship.

The 18-year-old recently took a massive step forward towards fulfilling this goal when she began working at a leisure centre in North Yorkshire.

But Sarah’s dream may have only ever remained just that had she not been referred to The Crossing, a service offered by Broadacres which provides supported housing for young people, as well as tenancy related support to empower and provide the necessary skills to enable them to move on into independent living and reach their full potential.

Sarah was adopted, along with her older sister, when she was just 18 months old, having been born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during her mother’s pregnancy.

Her adoptive parents were very strict, not allowing her the freedoms that other teenagers have, such as going out with her friends, and this resulted in her having low self-confidence and feeling very socially isolated.

She eventually left the family home but after a move to live with a friend didn’t work out and struggling with her mental health, Sarah was referred to The Crossing in March 2023.

During one of her initial 1-1 sessions, which entail drawing up a support plan, she revealed how had always wanted to be a lifeguard on a cruise ship.

Her support worker Claire suggested she joined a programme ran by The Prince’s Trust which is designed to help people like Sarah to boost their self-esteem and confidence and help with future training and employment opportunities.

This was a big step for Sarah and after a shaky first day, she persevered and completed the course and made lots of new friends (and met her boyfriend) her own age.

Claire says she noticed a spring in Sarah’s step when she came back, and she was further buoyed when The Prince’s Trust paid for her to undergo lifeguard training, which she passed with flying colours.

She is now a fully fledged lifeguard working in a leisure centre and we have seen her confidence grew by the day whilst she has been at The Crossing.

Sarah says: “I am so much happier and confident in myself than I was a year ago and feel I now have a future which I have never felt before.

“It has always been my dream to become a lifeguard on a cruise ship, and I can’t believe I have come this far already in the space of few months.

“I am still with boyfriend and often  help him and his mum taking disabled teenagers for days out which I really enjoy.

“The support I have received at The Crossing is fantastic. It has made such a huge difference to my life. I am now looking forward to the next stage of my journey, which is to have a home of my own and a career I love.”