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I’ve seen funding for our services cut massively, so I’m running the marathon to try and help fill the gap

Posted by / Wednesday 11 April 2018 / Fundraising
Alison 1

Originally I qualified as teacher and I worked during the summer as a sessional worker with Action for Children, mainly helping out with play activities for families.

At that point I was in my mid-20s, and had been working in pretty middle-class schools, but a lot of the families I worked with over summer stuck in my mind. These families had a high need, and a lot of them were in poverty. That’s something I hadn’t really seen or experienced before. The deprivation was a real culture shock for me. 

I could see how much the play sessions made an impact on those families. They were mainly breakfast mornings, play-schemes and trips and they really helped parents feel like they were not alone in their problems. They really helped bring parents who were struggling, together.
Alison, Parental Coordinator at Action for Children

Fast forward 20 years and I’m happy to say I’m still working for Action for Children, and running the marathon!

I decided to run the marathon because of funding. That’s why I’m doing this. Over the past 5 years I’ve seen budgets for funding cut massively, and this means there are now gaps in our support. We try to be creative to come up with ways we can help bring families together with a very small budget, but it really does come down to resource. There is not enough funding for the activities that bring parents together and create a sense of community.

The work we’re doing really does keep families together.

One boy was 8 years old when he first came to us and was a young carer. On top of having to care full time, he had bereavement issues and there was a breakdown in the family. What he found with our support, was a safe place he could come and get advice without feeling judged, and that made such a difference to helping him cope. He went on to university and now has real stability in his life.

Another girl I first met when she was 10. Now she is in her early 30s and a proud mum herself. She had suffered with sexual abuse as a child, so had grown up with very abnormal family dynamics. She had no understanding of what normal family life was because of her own awful experiences. We worked with her a lot to keep her safe, build her confidence and help her feel like she had the strength to be a good parent. She was determined to break the cycle of abuse. She has come so far since then and is now a happy, confident mum who trusts Action for Children to give her appropriate support when she needs it.

 

Without these services a lot more families would be in complete crisis. As the funding has gone down I’ve seen a big increase in the complexity of families breaking down. These people need support and help, and there is sometimes nowhere else for them to turn to. That’s why I so believe in the work we do, and that’s why I’m running the marathon to help these families.
Alison, Parental Coordinator at Action for Children

You can sponsor Alison and help her reach her target by heading to her online fundraising page