A mother and two children left homeless when their landlord decided to sell, have finally moved into their ‘forever home’ thanks to BCHA.

Lone parent Steph Tregillis, 42, and her children Joshua, 15 and Freya Rose, 12, lost their home towards the end of 2021.

The family were offered B&B accommodation and spent 10 weeks living in a budget hotel, including over last Christmas, with no means of cooking.

In early 2022 they were moved into temporary accommodation at Raglan Court in Devonport.

Jules Dennis, a Complex Needs Family Support Worker with BCHA’s Families Temporary Accommodation Team was put in touch with the family in April to help them navigate their way to permanent housing.

BCHA is a major provider of a diverse range of housing, support, learning and employability services for people across the South West, from Plymouth to Bournemouth.

BCHA helps family move into their forever home
BCHA helps family move into their forever home

Steph said: “When our landlord said she wanted to sell her house I was worried. But I never realised just how bad things were going to get for us.

“We lived in a two-bed house and I had slept on the sofa for quite some time so my children could have their own rooms. But at least we had a place to live.

“We were moved into a hotel on B&B basis, which meant we had no way of making our other meals or doing washing. We either had to rely on friends and family or go out to eat every day, which I couldn’t afford to do. So, I paid friends to feed us.

“I was on the housing waiting list but on quite a low banding, so it all quickly started to feel pretty hopeless and my mental health started to really suffer with all the worry.

“When we were moved into Raglan Court things improved. But I knew it was only temporary and the worry was sometimes intense. I ended up in hospital with an asthma attack. Then I was diagnosed with day and night apnea which means I can stop breathing without warning at any time.

“Freya refused to go to sleep because she thought I would die in my sleep.”

Steph continued: “The children basically became my carers.

“Josh has been especially great, cooking and sorting washing. I’m currently waiting for a referral to see a specialist. But I have no idea how long it will take.

“Then Jules from BCHA came into our lives and things changed.”

Jules got to know the family and assessed their needs.

Steph said: “Jules saw how hard the kids worked looking after me and how much we just wanted to be somewhere permanent where we could be a normal family.

“She helped me fill in forms and keep track of my applications. She even cheered me up when things seemed hopeless.

“When a three-bed house came up, near to my support network, we applied, but never for one moment did I think I would get it.

“When we opened the email and found out we had. I couldn’t believe it.”

On July 18, the family moved into their Plymouth Community Homes property in St Budeaux.

Steph said: “When we saw the house my son cried and Freya raced around looking at the bedrooms and the garden.

“This year, for the first time in as long as I can remember we had a family barbeque for Josh’s birthday.

“I’ve noticed a huge difference in the children already. They seem less serious.

“Josh has been having days out with Barnardo’s and even chose to take an Understanding Mental Health course, all of his own accord. I’m so proud of him.

“Jules has also helped me get some white goods and continues to be there for us. I don’t know what we would have done without her.

“I just want to get back to being the Mum my children need me to be and now I have a safe home for them that’s what I’m going to be concentrating on.”

Jules said: “It has honestly been a pleasure to support the Tregillis family in finding their forever home.

“They were one of the first families on my caseload when I joined BCHA and I am thrilled to see them so happy and settled. The change in the children in particular is immense.

“The last eight months have been really challenging for them. But I met them at the new property the day they went to collect the keys and the excitement from the children made the journey through the process worth it.”



For media information on BCHA please contact BCHA Communications Manager Victoria Kate via email at: Victoriakate@bcha.org

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