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Alice's story

"Longlands has given me freedom just to be myself.”

I came because I have quite a few mental health problems.  I took attempts on my life and I was self-harming.  I was sent to an inpatient unit for my mental health.  I was there for about four months, because they were worried I was going to hurt myself or something. I got out, and went back to school, but then everything was worse again.  So I dropped out and now I’m here, and obviously doing OK for myself.

Longlands is a break away from school.  There’s lots of different things you can do.  I like all the animals – I’m a very animal person.  I like the guinea pigs – they’re really cute.  Can’t wait for the babies to come – they’re having babies, in May! 


I would definitely recommend Longlands, for anyone who is struggling in the school system. Coming here one or two days a week would be a break from the normal routine of school.   School is a pressurised environment.  I could never be myself!  I had to be this certain person. And it was just exhausting.   

"School is a pressurised environment.  I had to be this certain person.  It was just exhausting."

Longlands has given me freedom just to be myself.  They’ve helped me a lot with my mental health.  Just being outdoors is amazing therapy.  Just the environment, really.  I love just sitting in the dog kennels, giving the dogs cuddles.  Animals really do help.

I have a job now at a pub.  I don’t think I’d have been able to do that this time last year.  I’d have been off every week.  I’ve been there about a month now, and worked every shift.  And I’m going back to college in September, and see how it goes from there. 

This place has really helped me with my confidence: to be able to talk to people, and explain how I’m feeling, which will help me in the future, and help me get better. Longlands has really helped me with working out who I am.

Alice’s mother comments:

Longlands gave Alice breathing space. I think she needed that because she’d had lots of trauma, and it just gave her space, to take the time she needed to recover. I mean, she's gone back a year, obviously, but it was that year on the farm that really helped her move forward. You know, when she was at Longlands, she just looked so well and, yes, just flourished really. 

Update 2024

Since leaving Longlands I've been at 6th form college.  I'm doing Art, Health & Social Care, and Criminology. I've got a lot of friends and yeah, it's very good. It’s alright.  I've got my A levels coming up soon, so that's quite stressful.  And I’m applying for university now.  Edinburgh, hopefully.  Or Brighton.  Cardiff.  Bath.  To study fine art. I very much like doing all kind of medias, everything from painting to print making. And then hopefully after that degree, go on and do art therapy. I would be an art therapist.

Looking back, Longlands definitely gave me confidence.   I didn't have any confidence like that, this time two years ago.   I feel like being at Longlands just made me realise that I can be myself and I can do what I want to do.

I've got an interview at Cardiff next week. When I'm nervous, I talk a lot, so I feel like that should come off positively.  Confident?  Yeah, definitely.

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