and here is our very own CHYP poem about "sofa surfing"


Sofa surfing sounds exotic

But it’s a bad life that’s really chaotic

The fact is I don’t have a home

Not even a room with a bed of my own

My parents never wanted me

Dad disappeared when I was three

Mum said having me had ruined her life

She had no freedom, just work and strife

Gran tried to help and that was kind

But the two of them argued all the time

I couldn’t understand why I was so bad

I felt so awful, I always felt sad

I was always the last one collected from school

But I hid my feelings and played the fool

When mum went out I was left in the flat

I got very frightened I didn’t like that

I had lots of uncles who never stayed long

Mum said it was my fault things always went wrong

I wanted to please her I really did

But whatever I did I was just the bad kid

I couldn’t bring friends back to play at home

Mum said it was noisy and she would moan

At school it was hard to concentrate

When you’re sad inside and life’s not great

I didn’t do well in any exams

So I have no job, no hope, no plans

Mum’s boyfriend says it’s him or me

So she made me leave and now she’s free

They are moving to a nice new flat

No room for me there, so that’s that

A mate took me in just for the night

I slept on the sofa and it was all right

But 8 sofas later I’m feeling the strain

My mates are so helpful, I mustn’t complain

I want to stop moving and sleep in a bed

Try to get all these bad thoughts out of my head

Many are like me I am not alone

So please support CHYP and help me find a home

 by Sandra Price


Copyright  March 2012  CIRENCESTER HOUSING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE Registered charity number 299821


Our stories...



Beccy’s story is similar to that of many of the young people we help. Beccy , aged 23. was forced to move back to her parents' home following a relationship breakdown. However she suffered from bipolar disorder and her relationship with her family became very strained as she found it impossible to fit back in. She was accepted by Chyp and started working immediately with her key worker.

 Initially she was unable to work or attend college, due partly to her illness, but with guidance and support she started to grow in confidence and made steps towards her personal goals.  Beccy says “Before Chyp my life was going nowhere.” But now three years later she is moving forward in her life,  living independently in her own flat and working.



Donny was 19 when he found himself homeless with no family to support him. He started getting involved with drugs and alcohol and didn’t know how to turn his life around. He  came to Chyp  and with advice and guidance things started to turn around for him. He is now holding down a job, doesn’t use drugs or depend on alcohol and has  the support of Chyp  24 hours a day.  Donny says that the staff at Chyp are his friends and family  “Without Chyp I really don’t know where I would be now”.





Louise was only 17 when relationship with her family completely broke down to the point with she found herself on the verge of being homeless. She came to Chyp feeling lost and with a sense of hopelessness.

Although Louise already had a job she didn’t know how to look after herself at home. She didn’t even know how to use a kettle, toaster or microwave and hence couldn’t even prepare herself a meal. She also didn’t know how to clean her clothes or take care of where she lived.

At Chyp she had cooking classes so she could prepare a meal for herself. She also learnt about how to budget for buying food and household basics and about paying household bills. She moved to our house in Ashcroft road as she progressed with her ability to live independently and is hoping to move into her own place soon.

Aside from the practical things she learnt, she became much more confident and happier in herself. She has also learnt to appreciate and live with other people.  With Chyp’s support Louise has matured into well-rounded young women on her way to independent living.



Daniel found himself at the age of 17 struggling to cope on his own in Cirencester. He came to Chyp lacking in confidence and with very low self- esteem but working closely with his Key Worker helped him change this. He soon became a more confident young man with a good circle of friends. He initially volunteered in the Chyp charity shop giving him invaluable shop experience, which lead the way to him eventually getting a full time job at Tesco. Now he will be looking to move into his own place.