A HOUSING support project aimed at helping women with drug dependency and mental health problems is celebrating a success story.

The Hestia project, set up by the Endeavour Housing Association, in Thornaby, was established to provide "stable, long-term supported housing" for vulnerable women who have never before been able to put down roots.

One woman involved in the project, who wishes to remain anonymous, has just gained impressive results in a business foundation course at the University of Teesside.

Two years ago, the 34-year-old could not read or write, and had experienced homelessness and a nervous breakdown after her marriage fell apart and her children were taken into care.

Thanks to the Hestia project, and her determination to get back on track, she is preparing to take a business studies degree.

Carole Morgan, for Endeavour Housing, said that in-depth research into the Hestia project by the University of Teesside, shows the scheme is proving a success.

Ms Morgan said: "The women who are referred to Hestia have had all sorts of experiences in their lives.

"Three quarters of them have been victims of abuse, some will have had convictions for offences, or experienced alcohol or drug misuse problems.