A mum of two, Levi was referred to Safe Families by her social worker in early 2017. Levi was nearing “the end of her journey” with social services when Safe Families came into her life and her children had been moved from child protection to “children in need”.
“At first I did actually say ‘no’ to having a Safe Families volunteer,” said Levi. “But I got a call from the social worker saying, ‘We’d like you to do this’. I am glad in the end that I did use it. Because it was brilliant. If we’d have an intervention like Safe Families before it would have helped a lot.
“The volunteer, Marion, and I started meeting once a week. One week it would be my time with Marion to have coffee and talk about the week. The next week she’d come visit me and my youngest child Danny, who’s autistic.
“We went to the New Forest and Danny loved it. With his autism, he’s a runner. Normally he needs to hold my hand all the time so he doesn’t run off. At the New Forest he had total freedom to run around the field and see the animals. Little things like that. Making memories. That meant a lot to me as well.
“I suffer with depression and I did suffer with anxiety while Safe Families was working with me. It felt so nice to have an outside perspective. My friends are like: ‘It’s all right’. Marion was more direct, in a nice way: ‘Just stay strong, you can do this!’. A lot of mothers, and fathers as well, struggle with mental health. Sometimes that’s all they want, just a shoulder to lean on.
“I know volunteers are only around for a short time but they have an impact and a positive impact as well. I honestly can’t rave about the service enough.”
We’re looking for more friendly volunteers to give part-time support to families like Levi’s. Fill in the form below to find out more!