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“My counsellor helped me to get rid of the bad things. I loved seeing her every week. I am happy now.”
Child, aged 7, counselled by Fegans
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Tom did not trust adults and had good reasons for this. By the age of 10 when I met him as we began counselling sessions at his school he had been let down and badly treated by a string of adults.
His mother, being young when he was born, was unable to care for him and his grandparents initially brought him up. When they found it too much for them he was passed onto his aunt but her partner who had anger issues physically abused Tom. This resulted in him being taken into care around the age of 6 and being placed with foster parents. Instead of keeping him safe he was subjected to sexual abuse until he eventually disclosed what was happening. Tom moved to a new area to be with different foster parents who he seems very happy with, but this also meant a new school as well as new home.
His behaviour could be difficult, challenging authority at one moment and at other times ignoring everyone, being withdrawn as though he wanted to be invisible. His self-esteem was very low and he wondered if in some way he was to blame for it all. He thought he just wasn’t loveable.
Counselling helped Tom to understand that none of what had happened was his fault and that people such as his new foster parents, his teachers, his counsellor and others do care about him and that there are trustworthy adults in his life. He began to appreciate himself and his confidence grew which in turn helped him improve his relationships with both adults and his peers. Counselling enabled Tom to have a voice and be heard without the fear of being judged so he was able to express his anger and fear whilst feeling safe to do so.
“I have a much better relationship with my children now. Thank you so much for all of your help.”
Parent supported by Fegans
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Nicola is a mother of 4 children and also has 2 grandchildren. In January 2016 her family were struggling after a crime and bereavement had deeply affected them. Nicola’s daughter had an Early Help Worker to support her and felt that Nicola could do with some support herself. Nicola was referred to a Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Course led by Fegans. This was the turning point for her family.
Nicola found that the leaders on the course were inspiring, welcoming and helpful and really benefited from discovering that she was not alone and not a failure. The course gave her the parenting tools she needed and she also made some amazing friends with Mums on the course who she continues to meet up with regularly.
Nicola was so inspired by Fegans that she wanted to help and give something back. She became a volunteer ambassador to raise awareness of Fegans and the family support they offer and attended training in the Incredible Years (IY) programme to help run a parenting course.
One year from becoming a client at Fegans Nicola is now an employee. She is really excited to join the Fegans team, where she will run IY courses and give parents support at home. Fegans has given Nicola and her family the support they needed and now she can help others.
“Thank Fegans for caring about me and my family and for giving me this wonderful opportunity to make a real difference to other families who are struggling.” Nicola Baldwin