Isabelle was a single parent awaiting orthopaedic surgery when she was referred to Safe Families. Her physical condition was deteriorating, and she was becoming more and more anxious as a result of trying to cope with looking after her son (a toddler at the time). Due to Isabelle’s limited mobility, her son was largely confined to the sitting room of his home where he spent all day — from rising to bed at 9:00PM. He needed more stimulation and physical activity.
One day when Isabelle took her son out to play, he bolted away in excitement, but Isabelle was unable to chase after him. After this, she no longer felt comfortable taking him outside on her own and was distraught that she couldn’t give him the physical activity he needed. She couldn’t even maintain their garden so that he could have a safe space to run around in. She was also struggling to fill in a form to request the disability benefits that she needed, and as these small details of day to day life built up, she became more anxious and overwhelmed.
We found some Family Friends to mow the lawn and trim the hedges so the little boy could get out in the fresh air and play. We also matched Isabelle with a Family Friend to help her fill out the form she needed to complete and to help her manage the correspondence afterwards. With these two burdens removed, Isabelle started to feel less anxious and more emotionally available for her son. And if she needs someone to look after her little boy when she goes into hospital for surgery, she knows that we have Host Families available who can make sure her son is safe and well cared for.
Hearing the stories of families who are struggling to cope in our communities makes us realise how dependent we are on one another to survive. When you’re a single parent, a simple ailment can seem like an impossible catastrophe. Who will look after the children while you’re in hospital? How will you care and provide for them while you’re unwell? Thank you to all of our volunteers who have chosen to hear those distant cries for help in our cities and respond, ‘I can. I will.’
You can respond too. Fill out our Volunteer Application form online today.