Georgia is a mum with 3 boys: a new little baby and 4-year-old twins, one of whom is autistic.
After the baby was born Georgia was suffering some depression and felt she couldn’t manage everything. She especially found it difficult to do school runs with her little newborn and her autistic son, *Henry, as he often gets upset when leaving the house.
“We can’t do anything really”, says Georgia. “If we try to go out we don’t know if he’ll be upset or what will make him upset. So we only go to the playground and shops or for a coffee.”
Georgia’s health visitor referred her to Safe Families for Children.
“When the health visitor told me about Safe Families she said she’d call and see what happened. After a couple days she phoned again and said ‘we’re on waiting list’. By the following week we started to have help.”
A Family Friend named Denise started to come once a week for a couple of hours, chatting with mum and watching Henry.
Georgia describes Denise as “an older lady who didn’t seem old as she was so full of life”. The two women would sit and chat which Georgia found very helpful as she didn’t have anyone else to talk to. Denise was so willing to help and often went above and beyond what was expected.
When Georgia had to be hospitalised for a week and was getting very lonely and upset after 3 days in hospital without any visits – her husband being at home watching the kids – she sent Denise a text for help.
“Denise had been on holiday but she replied to my text saying that she was coming back that day and said, ‘I’m going to be back in town at at 2:00pm and will be there straight away.’”
So while Denise minded the children for a few hours, Georgia’s husband was able to visit her in hospital and provide the emotional support she needed.
Another instance of the Family Friend doing more than expected was when Georgia and her family went back to their home country for 2 weeks.
“I had a fish tank”, says Georgia, “and I commented to Denise that I didn’t know what I was going to do with the fish while we were travelling. So Denise babysat our fish while we were away!”
Now Georgia’s situation has changed. Her kids are in school full time and are getting transport to and from school and Safe Families has ended support knowing that Georgia is well and thriving.
“It meant a lot to me to have Denise there”, says Georgia. “I was calmer and less stressed. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without Safe Families.”
*Name has been changed to protect identity.