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It’s fair to say mother-of-two Kim is on something of a journey of discovery. After suffering the grim realities of domestic violence, the 28-year-old Bromford customer now tells us about her experiences and what gave her the impetus to get her life back on track.

When I met Nina Pearce a few months ago, I was a pale shadow of my former self. I was isolated, lonely, frustrated and in rent arrears. My outlook on the outside world had turned negative and I was afraid to leave the comfort zone of my lovely end of terrace home. Anyone reading this who knows me will probably be shouting at their screen by now: ‘But Kim, that isn’t you?’ – And they’d be right, it wasn’t me in any way, shape or form. But this was the extent to which I had sunk.

You see, back in 2013, I made a life-changing decision. That decision meant leaving my family and friends in the Cayman Islands to come and build a new life for me and my adorable twin girls in Britain. I lived with my cousin in Birmingham for a short period before getting my own place and then moving in with a partner.

Before long, things turned sour and I endured incidents both physical and psychological that no woman or man should ever have to go through. Eventually, on the advice of police and social services – and classified as homeless at the time – I moved to Wolverhampton which was particularly daunting for me considering my only family had been in Birmingham.

For a short time I moved into the Haven which is a charitable refuge for women and dependent children vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse. And it was here I got the chance to meet other people with similar experiences to me and also complete the Freedom Programme which is a domestic violence initiative I plan to volunteer for in the future. The girls loved the new back garden and I tried to remain positive about our predicament, as someone who invariably looks on the bright side of life.

I was then lucky enough to move to a fabulous new Bromford home in Bushbury which the kids and I absolutely love – there is so much potential and I’ve already started decorating. But, perhaps unbeknown to me at the time, all of this was papering over the cracks and the reality was that I was becoming isolated and withdrawn, only leaving the house to take the kids to school. I would literally sit at home and do nothing, while life outside passed me by.

You’re still probably wondering who Nina is, right? Well Nina knocked on my door one day, introducing herself as Bromford’s new neighbourhood coach for that area. Initially I thought it would be a talk about my rent arrears but actually Nina explained that she was new to the area as well and really wanted to get to know me and my situation.

I think Nina coming in when she did really gave me that push I needed, and the realisation that I hadn’t been myself for quite some time. Nina was really nice and instantly made me feel at ease – I always let my guard down to nice people and it was no different in this instance. We spoke about my ambitions and she gave me little goals – and then of course I knew she would be coming back the next week and that I needed to be able to give her some new information – we’d built that bond and I’d have felt like I was letting her down if I hadn’t pushed myself and made some progress.

I’d always known I had something in me but it kind of dimmed throughout that period. I was very low in the sense of just being afraid to get out of the house and do stuff and meet people. I was definitely holding myself back and I used to think to myself: ‘I can’t meet people because I don’t know who they are or who they are going to become’ and it became quite self-defeating. Nina quickly built rapport with me and there was just something that went off in my head like a switch – I’m now out of my house again and I can feel the happiness seeping back.

Nina posed a lot of ‘what if’ questions. What do you think would happen if you did this? Who do you think you might meet and that you’d enjoy meeting? How many people have you met that have been bad in your life compared to those that have been good? And it all made perfect sense and put things in perspective for me. It gave me the motivation that had once dwindled.

A few months down the line and I’m now a member of the nearby church and I’m also part of the community centre up the road too. We’ve been involved in Halloween and Christmas activities they’ve put on and the girls are now making friends with people outside of school as well.

I’ve always loved anything creative – from media, to music, to writing – so I’ve also recently started volunteering at my local radio station, Wolverhampton Community Radio (101.8 FM), where I’m shadowing the radio personality and learning the ropes on that – gradually learning how the media industry works. My aim is to eventually have my own little show, and what we’re going to do is pre-record some content and then fit me into a time slot and see how it goes.

I still have days where I feel low but building that relationship with Nina convinced me to pen an inspirational poem which I read back to myself whenever I’m having a wobble. Another thing I’ve done is start an entertainment blog and so even if I’m watching a film at home now, I won’t just be watching it, but I’ll be jotting down notes so that I can write a review afterwards.

Meeting Nina ultimately changed my mind-set back to what it once was, and now I’d rather do something than nothing. I’m trying to put a purpose on everything I do – and I know it won’t all happen overnight, and that there will probably be setbacks, but I’d rather take that approach than just sitting at home letting the time go by.

Do you know who your neighbourhood coach is? You can find out here.

Kim is a Bromford customer on a journey. Read about her highs and lows only at

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