A former foster care youngster has told how children's charity Barnardo's met him at his lowest - and now he's reaching for the skies.
Paul* found himself in a homeless hostel after growing up in multiple foster care placements across Scotland. But when his social worker referred him to Barnardo's, things started to look up - and now he's aiming high with a job as airline cabin crew.
Paul said, "It can be really difficult if you're a young person without parents or a family network to help."
A Turning Point
Barnardo's innovative Gap Homes project was the turning point for Paul, who found it especially tough as he looked to move out of the shelter he found himself in.
The project offers homely, affordable housing for young people leaving care - as well as support.
Paul said, "You face challenges like loneliness and not having enough money to see your friends. Even basic items can be too expensive.
"Before I got help from Barnardo's, I didn't know how to run my own flat. I wasn't sure how to pay for bills or the best way to cook for myself.
"One of the most helpful things my Barnardo's project worker did was help me write a list of potential outgoings and costs for when I got my own place."
To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £11.7 Million for Barnardo's - money that is helping transform the lives of more than 300,000 children, young people and families across the UK.
With that help, it has given Paul a solid runway to take off into his new future.
He said, "Gap Homes help you develop a plan with goals that you can aim for. I'm currently studying at college.
"My plan is to begin a career in the airline industry as cabin crew as I love meeting new people and would like to travel the world eventually.
"Barnardo's can do a lot of things which young people who're struggling might not be aware of. They can help with accommodation and the cost of living, and also support with education, employment, training and skills. Their knowledge and insight has also helped with my mental health."
He added, "Life can be challenging for young people who are leaving care, but Barnardo's can make a real difference. I'm very grateful to them."
*Name changed to protect identity.
Making A Difference
People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like Barnardo's make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities which our players support.