Preston mum’s Christmas appeal to find worker who helped her as a homeless teen

Posted on - 11th December, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - People, Preston News
Eleanor helped Sam out when she was a teenager

A woman is trying to trace a support worker who helped her when she was a homeless teenager – and left a lasting Christmas message.


Sam Stone, 39, wants to find ‘Eleanor’, who helped her get back on her feet when she left home aged 16.

Read more: Food club aims to help some of Preston’s most deprived communities this Christmas

In 1996, Sam left home after rows with her family and was living in a hostel. Eleanor helped her find a flat in Empire House, Church Street, with three other girls in similar circumstances and helped them learn life skills such as cooking, budgeting and looking for work.

At Christmas she gave Sam a pair of red mittens and special Christmas decoration, with a note to remind her there were better times ahead.

It said: “I bet you think your project worker has gone batty buying you a Christmas decoration for Christmas. Well, you could be right. However, as with all things, there’s a reason as to why people do the things they do. My reason is this:

“Christmas tree decorations evoke memories over the passing years. This Christmas bell is not your average market stall product.

“It will last you a lifetime, and maybe in ten, twenty, thirty, forty years time, when dressing your tree with your children and grandchildren you may well remember your puddled project worker and the friends you have made at Empire when things were not quite so good for you.

“Even bad times can hold special memories and I hope this bell will be part of those memories.

“God bless you and have a happy Christmas.”

Read more: The heartbreaking story of young people in care and how you can help this Christmas

Now a married mum-of-two, Sam runs a manufacturing business with her husband.

She would love to trace Eleanor to thank her and let her know things worked out well for her.

She says: “We all had Eleanor as a support worker.

“She would help us work bills out and find courses/work. She gave me a pair of red mittens and the bauble that Christmas.

“I’m now 39, married with two boys. I own my own house and own my own company.

“So the bauble is brought out every year.

“It’s always the last decoration to go on the tree. The letter is folded (battered a bit now) and put through the bauble like a scroll.

“Every year since, I’ve always thought of her and wondered if she did it for many others throughout the years.”

Sam hopes someone in Preston will remember Eleanor and be able to help her get in touch.

Can you help Sam find Eleanor? Let us know by emailing or leaving a message in the comments section.

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