A Friend for Tea

“If only I could invite a friend home for tea”

We’d like to tell you about a 10-year-old girl with just such a request.

The family was referred to us because the young girl’s mum has severe mental health issues and has a problem with hoarding things. The hoarding had reached a stage where the pair were unable to live in the family home and Mum was so ashamed that she hadn’t let anyone into the house for two years. Fortunately, the girl was able to live with her mum at her grandparent’s otherwise it would have been a significant safeguarding concern and the likelihood would have been that she’d need to be cared for by the local authority.

When a Safe Families Family Support Manager visited the family, she made a breakthrough and was invited to go into the house. The whole house was in a really poor state of decoration with cardboard and rubbish piled knee high and above in most of the rooms.

After the initial assessment a request was put out for a team to go into the house to de-clutter and decorate the girl’s bedroom. A Family Friend with a young daughter was also requested to befriend the girl. A Liverpool volunteer with a ten-year-old daughter came forward and the two girls started to meet and are becoming friends.

Last Saturday 18 volunteers mostly from the Family Friend’s church went into the house and spent the day clearing and cleaning it from top to bottom. They also decorated the girl’s bedroom. A new bed, bedding, wallpaper and paint for the bedroom were sourced, along with new carpets for the whole house and a new toilet.

This little girl who has been receiving counseling for several months and has been unable to talk about her home because it made her feel really sad, has now been granted her wish. She can now invite her new friend home for tea.

Mum will be supported by a Family Friend to help when the young girl has a friend home for tea. One simple request by a 10-year-old girl fulfilled by amazing volunteers prepared to give their time to make her dreams come true.

A Light in the Darkness
Southampton Expansion