I am thrilled to be involved in a project where I can see directly that my money goes towards paying Pam and Lucy, and exactly what they do

Posted by / Monday 02 October 2017 / Families Fundraising
Cathy 1

A few weeks ago Cathy Wall, a member of Women Taking Action, went to visit her nearest children’s centre to meet some of the staff there. She spoke to them about families they had been helping recently, and listened to the incredible difference they are making.

“Laura and Lucy were on hand to talk me through their recent work with three families, and what impact they have had.

One family is a Mum with six children whose violent partner had recently left. For the first time in twenty years this Mum was left to make decisions for herself- an improvement but also quite scary. One of her younger children was referred to the programme by the school, but it soon became apparent that all the family needed help. As a start, the chaotic morning journey to school was difficult given the mother’s depression and lack of confidence, and Lucy arrived early to assist Mum to get the family up and off to school. 

One of her younger children was referred to the programme by the school, but it soon became apparent that all the family needed help.
Cathy Wall

A place in a special needs school was on offer for one daughter, and eventually the Mum accepted a place for her there. Having not been allowed to make decisions for so long, the prospect of visiting alone and making a judgement alone was very daunting for her. Lucy went with her, and was available to talk through the pros and cons. The same daughter had a strong need for space of her own, and Lucy, after getting to understand the family, persuaded her brothers to share a bedroom so that she could avoid sharing. The eldest boy was not in education or employment, but is bright and motivated to become an engineer. Lucy got him into the “connexions” network and he is now studying at a local college. 

The eldest boy was not in education or employment, but is bright and is now motivated to become an engineer
Cathy Wall

The story of one of the other families surprised me. Rather than a chaotic household, this one was over- orderly! An immigrant Mum, herself hard working and with high expectations for her three boys, had complaints about their behaviour at school. Her two younger sons struggled with the contrast between the strict standards at home and those of their immediate surroundings - why were they the only ones who had to work hard, be polite and keep quiet?! This was what was driving them to “ let off steam” at school and act up. Some work on what is appropriate levels of strictness and punishment for their age group paid off and the relationship with school has been restored.

The service has recently moved and is now attached to an Action for Children service in West Bromwich. More importantly, they are in the process of taking on two new locations, so doubling the catchment area and numbers of families that need this help, and able to access the service.

After so many years of being distressed by news stories of tragedies where no one intervened in a family crisis, I am thrilled to be involved in a project where I can see directly that my money goes towards paying Pam and Lucy, and exactly what they do."