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'I cried myself to sleep every night' - New mother left with nothing wants to give back

PUBLISHED: 10:03 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:55 16 November 2019

Danielle Garner lived in a hostel for 9 months with her son Isaac. Picture: Danielle Garner

Danielle Garner lived in a hostel for 9 months with her son Isaac. Picture: Danielle Garner

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A mother from Norwich who was faced with homelessness with her newborn son has shared her "heartbreaking" experience.

Some of the items Danielle Garner has gathered to make survival packs for homeless people living in Norwich. Picture: Danielle GarnerSome of the items Danielle Garner has gathered to make survival packs for homeless people living in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Garner

Danielle Garner, from Thorpe St Andrew, gave birth to her son, Isaac, in December 2014 and just one month later was kicked out of home due to relationship problems, with nothing except a few clothes.

Just three months before, the 28-year-old also lost her job at Phones4U when the company went bust during a time she describes as "horrible".

"I think I cried myself to sleep every night," Ms Garner, who now works as a shop assistant at Outfit in Riverside, said. "It was the thought of not being loved or cared about by anyone. It was really hard because I was a new mum."

She added: "I just left with whatever I moved into the house with, which wasn't a lot of things. The whole experience was heartbreaking."

Danielle Garner is on a mission to spread good will in Norwich. Picture: Danielle GarnerDanielle Garner is on a mission to spread good will in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Garner

Ms Garner spent one week in January 2015 in a motel which she said was "like prison" and then moved to a hostel in Sprowston where she lived for nine months with Isaac.

She said: "What broke my heart the most was that Isaac took his first steps in a hostel. To me, that is what hurt even though he won't remember it.

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"I had to start from scratch. It sounds funny but I used to keep toilet roll stacked up in the back of the room and kept adding to it because it was all I had and I was scared of losing that too."

The following months were spent working and saving so that Ms Garner could move out with her son and three years ago she moved into her current house in Thorpe St Andrew, which she said was amazing.

Now Ms Garner has turned her attention to helping others who have faced similar situations and is putting together survival packs for homeless people in Norwich.

She said: "I know what it is like and when I see homeless people it brings back memories. I was lucky I had a roof over my head the whole time.

"I just want to show that there is love out there and that we can all pull together to help those who have broken lives."

In each pack, Ms Garner hopes to include food, foil blankets, water and sanitary products for women.

So far, she has 14 bags and wants to make up as many as possible to be handed out before Christmas.

To help with survival packs email danielle.garner91@icloud.com

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