Julie has 6 children, 2 of them are at primary school and one pre-school age. Both Julie and her husband had difficult childhoods and have struggled with managing a large family. The family were supported by Red Hen for 2 years doing individual family work and are still accessing support through our coffee morning, activities and trips.
When the family were first referred to the project Julie was struggling with her mental health and said, “I was a hermit, never went anywhere or mixed with anybody. I was lonely and isolated and this made it hard for the children because they were cut off from everybody too”. Julie speaks really positively about her relationship with the project; “They always listen to my issues and concerns, they gave me really good advice to help with sleep routines and managing the children. The biggest support they gave me was encouraging me to go to groups and meet new people.”
Once Julie was able to be less isolated, her confidence increased, her mental health improved and now she is able to go by herself to groups. Julie also finds herself being sought out by other parents for support and advice. The children are also now much more integrated into the community and have attended lots of groups as well as improvements being made in school.
Julie has moved from being reclusive, not wanting to leave the house at all and especially not alone, to now looking forward to her youngest child starting nursery school and her going back to college to improve her maths and English so that she can get a rewarding and better paid job.
“My confidence has improved so much; I am now looking forward to a better future for me and my family.”
Julie and her family love to attend the trips and activities and she is very keen to promote and share with other families, other activities being run by the project. She shares our activities on her Facebook page and with friends and other parents in the playground. Julie has been responsible for bringing a number of new and vulnerable families along to the coffee morning and supporting them there until they are comfortable and confident enough to attend independently.
“Even though I don’t need as much support from the project now; if there are ever any incidents or issues, I contact the Red Hen staff, as I know they will always be understanding, and able to offer me good advice.”