When Rachel joined our Stronger Families programme, her self-esteem and confidence were very low. She needed support so she could start re-training when her youngest child started school.
Her main challenges were poor routines and boundaries for the children and financial problems as well as a lack of time for herself or time to see other people. This was making her lonely.
Rachel was struggling with her children’s behaviour; her older son can be challenging and her younger son has health issues and needs a lot of her attention. He was falling asleep on the sofa with her and then Rachel was taking him to her bed for the night so she didn’t get time to herself in the evenings.
She said “The situation was becoming very difficult to manage and it had begun to affect my mental health. I had no confidence and felt worthless. All the appointments with school and hospital got in the way and stopped me taking care of myself. I had no routines; when the children were at school all I would do is eat junk food and sleep.
Rachel’s keyworker worked on the children’s boundaries and rewards for good behaviours. Rachel had a lot of good ideas but needed reassurance to go ahead with them. She said “My Key Worker listened to me and helped me to put my routines in place. It felt good to know I had someone on my side.” Rachel agreed to improvements to her younger son’s bedtime routine and we helped her obtain funding from Buttle UK so she could get a proper bed for him to replace his toddler bed. Rachel’s Mum bought both boys new duvet covers; the children love their beds and are now in a good night-time routine.
Other changes we supported were encouraging her younger son to become more independent, improving the children’s tea time routine and for Rachel to have time for herself to relax in the evening or get out and meet family and friends.
To improve Rachel’s self-esteem and give her enough confidence to take the children out, she took part in a Stronger Families walk in a local park and also a farm trip which they all loved.
“On the day of the farm trip I was refusing to go, the boys were playing up and I felt rubbish. My Key Worker was like superwoman, she was calm and positive, she would not take no for answer, but not in a pushy, forceful way. She knew I was able to do it and that I’d have a good time. She was right. We had a great family day out, the boys loved it. She could see all along what I was capable of and helped to pull it out of me.” Said Rachel.
Rachel’s confidence has soared and she’s much more sociable. She’s volunteering at a local afterschool club and is hoping to start teaching assistant training soon.
Rachel has also been interviewed and filmed for local TV about how the grant from Buttle UK helped their family and has taken part in a parents’ forum with Barnardo’s.
“If someone was thinking of accessing support from Stronger Families, I would tell them to go for it. It’s full of support and help to get you where you want to be.”