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'My first Christmas in my own place'
12-25-2020, 07:55 AM,
Post: #1
'My first Christmas in my own place'
'My first Christmas in my own place'

[Image: _116229732_da9c0d20-4dc6-4b42-be5d-96e2cb5f0c97.jpg]

If you'd told me years ago that at 20 years old I'd be sitting in my own flat writing about putting up Christmas decorations, I wouldn't have believed you.

I've never had a Christmas tree before, it wasn't something we did as a family, so the feeling of buying my first one and putting it up was so exciting.

So much so that I actually did it in the middle of November - and I still haven't heard the last of it from colleagues and friends who told me it was way too early.

As Christmas Day approached, I wanted to hear from people in a similar situation - those who moved in to their own place this year.

'I always excluded myself from Christmas'
This time last year, 22-year-old Shannon was living in accommodation run by Centrepoint - a youth homelessness charity.

She went into care when she was seven, and always found the festive season hard, not being with her family.

"I just didn't care for it as much as I did when I was with my family - so I always excluded myself."

She was at Centrepoint for four years after leaving her care placement and at Christmas staff would put on a festive dinner and buy gifts from donations.

"I wasn't expecting the staff to do anything at all, so I was really surprised when they came together to put up lights and tinsel.

"It made me feel like I wasn't forgotten about."

'It doesn't feel like Christmas'
But Neneh Watfa isn't feeling the Christmas spirit.

She's 21 and has been in her housing association flat since May, after moving out of her mum's house.

"I'm enjoying living by myself so far, I feel more independent and I've liked having my own space and like transforming it into what I want.

"But it is really hard, I've had to adapt to doing night shifts and working on my uni work as well, so it's been a bit of a struggle."

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