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Milly standing in front of a brick wall and a bush

After enduring a bad relationship at the age of 54, in an act of self-defence, I found myself behind bars and it was the darkest place I ever thought I’d be.

Upon my release I was provided accommodation through another service but found I was having trouble reintegrating. In fact, I felt my situation was getting worse and I was closing up even more. I spoke to a supervisor who referred me to St Bart’s, and after a brief interview with the Women’s and Family Services Manager I was able to move into the Women’s Service.

I was apprehensive as I thought it would be the same. But within a few weeks, I started to feel more positive about myself. I was given support and encouragement to regain my independence, even through things such as catching public transport to my appointments. I felt I was able to speak to staff and trusted in them.

All aspects of my life started to improve as my growing confidence in myself allowed me to adopt a healthy lifestyle such as stopping smoking, drinking and eating in a more healthy way. My sleep improved and I was given a diary to help me in organising and planning.

I am now looking at doing some refresher courses to build my confidence and re-enter the workforce. I believe I will leave St Bart’s with a future because I can have a future. I feel as if I have awoken from a bad dream. I know the past cannot be erased but it can be turned into a positive, and I see this when I share my story and see the positive impact it has had on people.

I don’t know where my journey will lead me, but I will always feel a strong connection to St Bart’s.

I was given the space and support to remember who I am.

Resident at Women’s Service

The Women’s Service is the only facility of its kind in Perth for older single women and relies solely on community donations to operate and assist approximately 60 women each year. Without this service people like Milly would find themselves without a home. The average cost of housing one woman for a year is $35,000.  If you would like to donate to the Women’s Service please click here and select Women’s Service in the optional field.

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