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I wanted to save my children’s futures

June 12, 2015

In 2012 Hayley Brophy of Swansea had been going through difficult times at home. She had been going through an increasingly fractured relationship with her partner and was worried about the impacts that the relationship was having on her two sons, and was referred by her children’s school to Barnardo’s Cymru for support who are among the latest successful organisations for the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places programme. Hayley tells us more…

“When I finally got out of that relationship I had become very reclusive. I was worrying about my kids, that they were suffering more than I did because of what they had seen I was going through with my partner at the time, and I didn’t want them to be affected by what they had seen.”

“My children’s school were really helpful with the help and information that they had to help me at that time, and it was through the school that I could approach Barnardos to get help for myself and my kids.”

The benefits to approaching Barnardo’s for support were instantaneous. The children were given immediate support from staff, and Hayley was also given support from other organisations too.

“My kids had counselling sessions through the staff at Barnardo’s, they’ve been brilliant. As well as the help that I got through Barnardo’s I also went to Women’s Aid for counselling for about a year. The kids had an initial counselling programme that lasted about 12 weeks, and were then offered more support through activities and family sessions. There’s been some great extra support for my eldest son too as he is going into comprehensive school next year and will be experiencing new environments and people.”

Barnardos Swansea“The help and support from Barnardo’s has been great for the kids. They get social reassurance not just from myself or friends, but from people that they don’t know or aren’t familiar with. Being in the kind of environment at Barnardo’s means that they can open up to people, and get more confidence from being able to express themselves.”

“It’s brought my boys’ confidence back and they have much more trust in family members to a point where they’re better than ever. They’re a lot happier with themselves after the support from Barnardo’s.”

And what do Hayley’s children have to say about the help that they’ve had?

Hayley’s eldest son says, “I really enjoyed the activities that we had from Barnardo’s and I’m not worried all the time at home or in school. We get a lot of extra help in and out of school like being told about how dangerous drugs are, and it helps us feel better and safer at home and in school.”

Highlighting the key aims of the programmes in Barnardo’s Cymru that support families like Hayley’s, Children’s Services Manager, Kelly Ahern said: “Breaking the Cycle”, our new project, will work with the hardest to reach families across Penderry, workless households with multiple and complex needs who sit outside of statutory services and who may be reluctant to engage.

“These families may have had historical contact with social services, they may have rebounded between early intervention and statutory service but never gained the resilience necessary to make sustained changes and manage their lives in a better way.

“We will work with them to identify the strengths and needs of the whole household, identifying barriers they may face and develop a family pathway plan to meet their needs. We will support them to develop the resilience and coping strategies, breaking the cycle of inter-generational issues so that every household member can reconnect with their aspirations and reach their full potential.”

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