From the beginning I went there broken. I found an amazing group of people in my first course who not only supported me through my situation both during the programme and in practical terms outside of it. For example, I needed a buggy for my daughter who is 2 and was able to ask in our group. Immediately they were able to ask through all the groups and got one for me and delivered within a few days.
Or during lockdown being able to advise who in our local area was making face coverings as I was anxious about going out with the children, or which charity shops were open to get stuff we needed. They even sent a delicious slow cooker meal which not only help finances but took a bit of pressure off, as did not need to think about what to cook and it was delicious.
Being part of the courses and groups showed me that I was not alone and that it was okay to admit I was struggling, gave me better coping strategies in dealing with myself and the children, and made me realise I really needed to consider their feelings as well, which has helped tremendously in lockdown.
Basically, it has given me a better community of people that I can turn to for help, and help others and made me feel a part of a bigger network. Not only have I got my course friends and groups but there are others that have asked for help or helped me, which has made me feel better, more confident within myself to know that I can cope without turning back to my old ways. I had been using drink to cope with things which had led to my daughter being taken into care. The support and learning from the programmes gave me the ability to turn things around and now my daughter is home again.
The courses taught me to improve my communication and listening, looking into what the impact of my upbringing had been, how to improve my children’s ability to share their emotions and trying to keep our stress levels down when dealing with things. They did not just stop supporting me when I finished the courses but I was able to go on other courses that have helped and they continue to support even after a year. They are still there to support now, and I can contact them anytime and still have the support whether to just use as a sounding board, ask for advice or share my news, good or bad. I still feel part of a wider family who are all there for me.