My daughter was having quite a lot of anxiety issues and finding getting to school really difficult. One of her teachers suggested she talk to the people at The Door to see if they could help. After a couple of failed attempts to get to a meeting at the centre, I was convinced it wasn’t going to work, but then their family support worker Shona asked to visit us at home. Turns out they don’t give up that easily.
Talking to Shona I was honest about my own anxiety, and my concerns that my situation was affecting my daughter’s behaviour – and I really didn’t want her to end up like me. Shona thought that The Door had lots to offer me, and I agreed to meet up with a mentor called Debs.
The first couple of times Debs and I met it was really relaxed and informal, we spent time getting to know each other rather than anything structured. Once we felt we had clicked and could trust each other, Shona started a more formal process.
Things went well for quite a few months, we were meeting weekly and Debs said I was making progress. She started taking me to one of The Door’s monthly support groups, a chance to meet and socialise with other mums. We talked about finding something for me that challenged me and one day I found myself volunteering in a local Charity Shop.
I’d been having mentoring for about a year when I texted Debs to say I didn’t want to do it anymore. She seemed a bit surprised, so I agreed to meet with her and Shona for a “closure” meeting. I’d been through these kind of things before – you get someone who seems interested in you for a while, tick all the boxes to say you’re doing ok and then they stop. I knew what was coming so I’d decided to stop it for myself, to stay in control of my situation.
When Shona and Debs met me they were completely different from the others. Normally everyone thinks I’m fine because those boxes are ticked, but they are not seeing how I am really feeling. My meeting at The Door was so different, they genuinely wanted to listen and get to know the real me. As we talked they suggested that I took it one step at a time, saying that they would be with me for as long as it would take, we agreed that my meetings with Debs would continue but the other things I was doing were too much for me then.
Six months later, and since that meeting, thanks to help from Debs and Shona I feel so much more like I’m in control of my life. I’m moving at my own pace again and I’ve started to go back to the support group. I’ve even made some friends there too. There are still times when I acknowledge that I’m not ready for the next step, but I also know that that’s ok, and my experience tells me that these things will come in time. Whenever I take a step back Debs gives me perspective. I’m emotionally much stronger and confident now.
The Door has taught me that some people do follow through on what they say they’re going to do, and I’m learning to have faith and trust in people. Debs is someone who tells it like it is but in a caring and supportive way.
Debs and I have agreed that this time, it is time to stop mentoring for now, but we know this is a friendship which will last a lifetime. I always knew that the team at The Door were rooting for me, and I know that they still are. I don’t know where I would have been without them.”
Mums, including Sharon, are worth celebrating and this Mothers’ Day we are offering you the opportunity alongside celebrating your mum, to help out someone else’s too.
Mother’s Day is a great time to recognise what your mum means to you – for cleaned up noses and knees, shoulders to cry on, hearty meals and words of wisdom. Mum’s are special people and deserve a day to be celebrated.
From as little as £10 for the price of a bunch of flowers, or a nice box of chocolates you can bring empowerment and hope to a mum who needs it most.
Open The Door for Someone’s Mum this Mothers’ Day by making a donation in The Door’s new online gift shop. For the price of a bunch of flowers you can change a Mum’s life for the better. Visit thedoor.org.uk/shop today
Together We Are Empowering Mums And Giving Them Hope
Volunteer mentors meet with parents for an hour a week to provide them with a safe space to have their voice heard and unpick what’s going on.
“It’s not just about helping people become better parents, we aim to help people reach their full potential in all aspects of their life helping them find their identity again, reminding them that they aren’t just ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.”
These gifts will be used where it is most needed in The Door’s Family Support Service.