We wanted to share with you the story of just one of the families we have supported during lockdown. This family has six children aged 3, 5, 7, 11, 14 and 17. They live in a small house with the four girls (aged 6-14) all sharing one bedroom. The dad has a low paid job so it is hard to make ends meet. During lockdown he has been working from home but because all the children have also been at home, he has found it hard to find a space to work, so has ended up working in the car. The mum has depression and anxiety. She has really struggled with the stress of home schooling, how to keep the kids entertained and worrying about them going back to school.
Our family support volunteer has kept in regular contact with the mum by phone and text, listening to how she is feeling and making suggestions of fun things to do like making wooden spoon dolls, ball games, feeding the birds and having themed mealtimes. She has also sent her scavenger hunts and links to online story-times and even delivered art and craft materials and activity packs from The Cowshed. During these visits our volunteer has been able to have socially distanced chats on the doorstep with both Mum and Dad about how they are coping and how she can help.
In these toughest of time, just knowing we are there for them, even remotely, has been a huge support to families. As one parent said “Our volunteer has been an absolute godsend. She has helped us get through the week and kept us sane.”