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Trying to live life well – Lisa’s Story

"Without me knowing it, my mentor built my confidence and my self-worth – she believed in me and I began to believe in myself."

A single mum with three children, Lisa was finding life increasingly harder to deal with. While trying to recover from domestic violence, Lisa also had to try and cope with the emotional and physical demands of caring for a child with ADHD too. She was sinking deeper into depression and needed to help herself so that she could help her children.

Lisa was referred to our Family Mentoring programme and matched with Emma, a volunteer mentor whom she began to meet once a week in a local café.

I didn’t feel like a good mum; I felt I was constantly arguing with the kids. I thought I was worthless and I really was just existing day to day. I knew I needed help before things got out of control.

“Of course it’s hard to open up to a stranger, but I realised that it was only by being truly honest with about my problems that Emma could really understand what was going on in my life and be able to support me. I found that I really relied on seeing her at the beginning as I found that talking to her was such an emotional release for me; here was someone that wasn’t going to judge me or gossip about me and my problems. As well as listening to me, Emma would also suggest practical changes I could make. Sometimes I didn’t feel confident to make those changes but Emma just encouraged me to try again.

Soon I felt confident enough to go on some courses including a course on supporting a child with special needs. I met other mums with children with extra needs and sharing experiences with them really helped too. I was then asked to speak to the group about ADHD and I felt so proud – I’ve never done anything like that before.

Looking back I don’t recognise the person I was then. I was a self-doubter but now I think if I want to do something, I can.

Mentoring has made me realise what a powerful therapy tool talking is. My relationship with the children is better and I have become a befriender to an elderly lady and I feel the time is right to more things like that. I’m thinking about the things I want to do in my life like going to university that I just didn’t would be possible before.”

Names changed and models used to protect privacy
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