Left Julie Green Right Mason Green (son) Credit: Julie Green

Homeless to home-owner: Single mum Julie Green became director of the charity that helped her

Julie Green went from abused partner to university graduate with help from new support network

CAERPHILLY-BORN Julie Green spent her son’s first birthday in a women’s refuge centre – now 10 years later she owns her own home and is the director of the charity that helped her in her bleakest moment. 

To celebrate Single Parents Day, Ms Green, director of Single Parents Wellbeing, has shared her story of success to encourage others who may be struggling to find help. 

“It still feels unbelievable to call myself a homeowner, it still seems like yesterday I was homeless,” said Ms Green. 

Shortly before her son’s first birthday Ms Green got the courage to leave her abusive relationship and had to move into a women’s refuge centre. She describes it as one of the hardest decisions she had ever had to make. 

Julie Green pictured with her son. Credit: Julie Green

“I can remember just thinking to myself, how did I get myself into this situation? Now I look back on that moment as my starting point,” Ms Green said. 

Her ex-partner cut her clothes up, she was kept isolated from friends and family and would have things thrown at her. Sometimes she was even locked inside the house. 

She said what she experienced was coercive control, which was made illegal in 2015. Women’s Aid describes it as a pattern of events intended to threaten, isolate and frighten the victim. 

Ms Green said she felt lucky she managed to get an indefinite restraining order against her ex partner. He went to prison for violating that order, which forbid him from contacting her either directly or through social media, friends or family.  

We lived out of a bag. Now my son has a huge room filled with toys,”

Julie Green

She heard about Single Parents Wellbeing through a friend. It is a not for profit organization that helps single parents find a community and improve their mental health.

Ms Green signed up for their six-week well-being workshop taken with other single parents that explores how to improve their mental health. 

Single Parents Wellbeing advisory team. Credit: Katharine Worrell

“It completely changed my life. I cannot imagine who I would be now,” said Ms Green. 

Attending the workshops gave her a support network and a new sense of confidence so she decided to volunteer with Single Parents Wellbeing. Ms Green also decided to go back to school. 

This was not an easy journey. Ms Green did not have enough GCSEs to get into higher education. She had to do a pre-access course, and a higher education course online before being accepted to Cardiff University to study social science. 

While doing this she got a paid position at Single Parents Wellbeing, on top of being a single mother and living in shared accommodation. She graduated from Cardiff University during the pandemic and became director of Single Parents Wellbeing in September 2022.

“It was a challenge but I had the support of some wonderful people. I have come so far and I am shocked, grateful and so proud,” said Ms Green. 

In January, Ms Green and her son moved into their first home. 

The new home. Credit: Julie Green

“I had a little baby, no roots and no secure place. We lived out of a bag. Now my son has a huge room filled with toys. Our house belongs to me, I make the decisions and no one can ever kick me out or ask me to leave,” said Ms Green.