Katie was abused, physically and sexually, by her partner. He was controlling and didn't let her have any money apart from £3 to get her nails done how he liked them.
When she left him she lived in a refuge before moving to Derby. She was homeless, sleeping on a park bench for a month until she found out about Derventio. She was housed the same day.
Katie started coming to Growing Lives. She enjoyed it but kept herself to herself at first. She didn't talk to anyone about her problems and was largely left alone.
Her Growing Lives tutor really helped Katie come out of her shell: "My tutor helped me a lot. I can always talk to her - she is like a mum figure. Growing Lives has given me a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning. All I'd be doing if I wasn't here is letting thoughts go round in my head and getting emotional. I've had a lot of support and it's just amazing."
Katie has really enjoyed crochet, mosaic making, painting portraits and working in the garden. She was recently offered a job as a cooking assistant at a nursing home, and can't wait to get started.