Doreen’s story

Letting children be children

Doreen and her four children had fled their previous home because of an abusive partner and were looking to establish a new life. However, starting afresh can be difficult and the situation was having a huge impact on the children at both home and school - they were tired, disengaged and ill-kempt. Their mother was also dealing with several physical conditions, which caused her to suffer a disabling degree of fatigue and this, together with disrupted sleep, affected her parenting ability. 

To complicate matters, the children were sleeping in broken beds, one was ruined due to one of the children having a well-established bed wetting problem.

Buttle UK intervened, to provide key essentials to the family to help them get back on their feet. 

  • The referrer suggested the children be given new beds, with fresh bedding, as well as a protective cover for Sarah's bed which we were able to supply quickly and without a fuss. This allowed the worker to consolidate her relationship with the family and begin to discuss issues in more depth. 
  • A fridge freezer was also awarded to assist Mum to better manage her budget by buying food in bulk and cooking ahead. This meant that she could cook when she felt well and has food pre-prepared for days when she doesn't. 

The children were then consulted about what, apart from beds, would make things better for them.

  • An award for clothing was made, which improved the children's presentation at school and boosted their self-esteem. 
  • A small grant was also made to allow the worker, with the children, to select social activities to address some of their emotional and developmental needs.​​​

It was apparent that these children felt marginalised at school and in their community. They struggled to make friends and so the opportunity to become involved in activities such as dance classes and boxing clubs allowed the children to mix on more equal terms with their peers. 

- Caseworker

These simple items have helped the family to become more of a unit, in turn feeling more positive about themselves and improving their self-esteem. It has also contributed to the growth of the relationship between themselves and their caseworker, thereby enhancing future practise. 

A small increase in the grant awarded, really just allowed these children to concentrate on being children. 

Photos by UFV

The children were disengaged and Mum felt hopeless...