The staff answering the Safe Families hotline receive calls on a daily basis.
They hear about all sorts of heartbreaking issues that families are struggling with. More often than not, we’re able to help, which is a credit to the fantastic volunteers who have stepped up over the last couple of years. Sometimes the family concerned needs really urgent help – and this was the case last Thursday.
The referral involved a single mum who had been recently diagnosed with Leukaemia. Because treatment was needed immediately mum had been whisked off to hospital and the 3 kids, all aged under 8, had gone to stay with granny. This valiant gran was then left to deal with not only the anxiety of her daughter being seriously ill in hospital, but also the physical challenge of having 3 kids to care for, 24-7. Overwhelmed is putting it mildly.
Being careful not to make promises that we couldn’t deliver on we agreed to phone around our volunteer Host Families in the local area to see if anyone would be willing to take the kiddies for the weekend, to give gran chance to recharge her batteries, and to bless the kids with some love and hospitality in the midst of a really emotional time for them. Later that same day a Host Family (with 3 kids of their own, of similar ages) agreed, and they took in the three kids that very weekend!
Safe Families for Children is built on an ethos of showing kindness and compassion to strangers, and in doing so to make new friends. This rapid reaction in a time of great need is a wonderful example of that ethos in action.