“I was suicidal.”
Diane describes herself as having extremely low mood when she referred herself and her son to social services. As a disabled single mum she felt alone and overwhelmed and unable to take her little Max out and about as she would like.
“I don’t have any support network. I don’t have a family member that I can turn to…and then I met Carol and Graham.”
The volunteer couple allowed Diane to take things at her own pace and learn to trust them bit by bit. “Slowly, slowly,” says Diane she learned to let them into her life.
“They were literally on hand to help with anything that I had on my mind. Whether it was to deal with paperwork or advice regarding Max because of his conditions.”
The families found an usual bond in their interest in tropical fish. Carol and Graham got a fish tank after being enchanted by Diane’s fish. They’ll often take some time out to go together to see aquariums.
One of the things Diane dreaded was going through her post. But with her new support she felt she could face it.
“No one likes to get on with the real world but it needs to be done. On your own as a single mum, world feels like it’s against you. Post is the last thing you’re worried about. It’s never normally good news that comes in the post.
“I was sorting out me paperwork because it was getting quite out of hand. I was opening an envelope, like the 15th one, and then I opened this one and there was a check in there from my car insurance for £2000!
“I called Carol and said, ‘You’re not going to believe what I found going through my mail. It’s been sat in me house for 2-3 months.’
“Life could have been a lot easier if I’d known about it. Just goes to show you should get on top of your stuff.”
Diane’s still got some of that £2000 left, which she’s tucked away in a nest egg with her other savings in order to go on holiday with Max.
Max has also grown attached to the pair; Diane says he looks up to them as if they were his grandparents. Even though Safe Families support has officially ended, they’re keeping in touch.
There are many families like Diane and Max, people needing a little support during a tough patch. Please get involved!