Mums message of thanks for supporting her family
With Christmas fast approaching the mother of a 14-year-old autistic girl, from Wallsend in North Tyneside, has thanked Caudwell Children for supporting her family throughout the 2016 Christmas period.
Maria, aged 51, says that she and the family were struggling with her daughter, Jessica’s condition. It has left her incontinent, with no sense of danger, and she requires constant care.
To compound the situation Marie’s 11-year-old twins, Michael and Jensen, both have ADHD and had become unsettled at school.
Maria, close to despair, didn’t know who to turn to for help. But then, luckily, social services passed her the contact details for Caudwell Children.
In November, 2016, she called the charity, whose Family Services programme had been developed in the North East with Big Lottery funding, to see how they may be able to help her.
That’s when the family’s fortunes began to change for the better. As she explained: “I spoke to Rebecca, one of the charity’s family support officers, and she immediately arranged for two volunteers to provide regular support in the house.
“They were amazing! They came in and helped me with housework, they helped the boys with their homework, they baked cakes and provided activities that kept the children busy and taught them new life skills.”
This allowed Maria to spend more time caring for Jessica, giving her the support that she needed.
Thanks to six months of support from Caudwell Children the boys, pupils at St Bernadette’s School, appeared to become more engaged at school. Their reports improved and the boys finally became settled in the classroom.
The support made such an impact on the family that Maria took the decision to take all three children into Newcastle on what she describes as a magical Christmas experience. As she explained: “Thanks to Caudwell Children’s volunteers each of my children had an adult to look after them. This meant that I had the confidence to take them into the city centre together for the first time.
“Normally I have to take them individually whilst their dad looks after the other two. This was the nearest that we’d ever had to a family Christmas shopping experience. It’s something that I’ll never forget.”
Maria says the whole family has changed for the better since receiving support from Caudwell Children. She said: “We’ve stuck together as a family. Before the charity got involved we were at breaking point and I’d even considered leaving home.
“But with their support we’re now thriving. I’ve really got my confidence back and I’ve even gone back to work. I can honestly say Caudwell Children has been a real lifeline.
“We are one lucky family but I know that there are an awful lot of families out there, with disabled children, who could do with their support.”
Maria is urging other families in crisis to get in touch with the charity. As she concluded: “I would recommend Caudwell Children to anybody. They are there to help and they are none judgemental. If you work with them they will work with you.
“My family can’t thank them enough and it’s because of them that we can now look forward to a fabulous Christmas this year.”
If your family needs support you can ring Rebecca, from Caudwell Children’s Family Support team, on 07983 243831 or you can email the team here.