WHEN Angie Carrington first arrived in Bradford, she was homeless, alone and carried just £10 in her pocket.

Angie was fleeing her troubled life in Reading by hopping on the next train to somewhere no one knew who she was.

She planned to rest under the Interchange on her first night but a homeless man told her that the station was locked at midnight.

Angie reached out to the Samaritans for help who put her up in a hostel while she worked out a plan.

Angie said: “It was alright. I met a couple of people that weren’t nice and took advantage of me.

“When I actually got to Bradford, I tell you, the best bit about it was seeing the Empire Strikes Back - I had £10 left in my pocket and I did that.

“You learn a lot about yourself. You realise there’s stuff that happened to you when you were little and this effects you so deeply.

“I used to have a dream about hills, where I’m crawling up a hill and the hill seems to be getting higher and higher and higher.

“When I got to Bradford, those dreams stopped. I liked it as soon as I got here.”

Angie signed up for benefits and a council flat and took on a low paying job.

She made friends in Central Library where they had regular book clubs reading Mills & Boon novels.

Angie explained: “I made all my friends in Central Library. It saved my life.

“The thing about Bradford was that it took me in - finally there was room for me.

“I didn’t even know where I was going. It (the train) just happened to be there at that time.

“I’ve retraced that journey and I can’t remember it at all. I could have stopped at Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds and I got off here.

“I love Bradford. It felt right.”

The adopted-Bradfordian applied for an access course at university and studied adult social care with social work.

Flash forward, Angie has retired, married and raised her two boys in Little Horton.

Her tale - titled Running Away From Home - is just one of many shared as part of an ongoing ‘human book’ project, created by Bradford Council’s Stronger Communities and Bradford For Everyone.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The People’s Library is a project that gives Bradfordians the opportunity to tell inspirational stories that help challenge stereotypes, start conversations and highlight what people have in common, no matter what their background or culture may be.

The goal is to recruit as many ‘books’ as possible throughout the year to create a vibrant and diverse set of stories about the citizens of the Bradford.

Sophie Powell, project manager at the Intercultural Communication and Leadership School and the e5 Keighley Women and Girl’s Empowerment Project, said the library is about ‘bringing people together’.

Sophie said: “I think Bradford’s got a really good reputation for being a diverse district.

“It’s got so much going for it. I think we know that as a city and it’s about making sure that message is out there.

“The thing about sharing your story is that you’re always going to find something in common with that person.

“We’re all human beings at the end of the day, no matter where we come from, no matter what our background.

“It’s about bringing people together.”

If you’d like to join in with the human library project, please email gemma.paine@bradford.gov.uk.