LETTER: ‘Worthing is my home’

Some of my best memories came from Worthing, and while I know that sounds contrived, it couldn’t be more true. I remember spending weeks here as a child, seeing shows with my grandma at the Pavilion, endless walks along the parade, and summers spent on pier.

After a brief time abroad which ended in great sadness, I was eager to return to what I’d always considered my home, only to find myself lost. My dream was to create a life here, now 19 years old, it seemed an ideal place to permanently carve out my own little slice of paradise.

I arrived back to England with very little, and only able to stay at a local B&B for just one week.

I’d hoped I would be able to find support here, and yet I’ve been met with closed doors sealed with bureaucratic red tape at every turn.

While many of the government officials have been empathetic to my situation, their hands have been tied, but still I am grateful for their compassion.

I’ve been even more touched by the kind words of so many here in the community, and I’m glad to see that tight-knit bond that connected Worthing’s people hasn’t weakened in my time away. It’s heart-breaking to feel so at home in a place where it seems life here will be so hard.

I’m not too proud to admit that the idea of surviving on the streets during winter scares me to the bone, but at the moment it seems like it is my only choice, as finding a job and a safe place to stay currently seem impossible goals to reach.

Despite it all, I am unrelenting. Worthing is my home, and I have every intention to fight for my right to stay here.

This seaside town means more to me than words can express, and so I will push forward.

Although things are difficult, it’s the community who I am writing this letter for, as a tiny way of showing my immense gratitude for all the support and sympathy I’ve received – and none of your kindness will ever be forgotten. You’ve reminded me what I’m fighting for – the chance to proudly name Worthing my home once again.

Riley Turner

Marine Parade


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