27 July 2017
Jasmine & Jessica's story - You can help keep families together
For so many people like me, Cholmondeley is a lifeline; it helps to change lives for good and keeps families together. I am sharing our story today to show you the invaluable difference you can make by supporting Cholmondeley.
My journey with Cholmondeley started on the day when I realised that I might lose everything that was important to me; I was at risk of having my girls taken away from me if nothing changed. I had reached rock bottom. I wanted to give up. Part of me thought they would be better off without me, but I also didn’t want them to experience a childhood like mine.
I never knew my real dad, and my mum died when I was three. I ended up with different caregivers, in foster homes, and residential facilities. I felt abandoned, alone, and not good enough for this world. This was not the childhood I wanted my kids to have.
And yet, this was where it was headed for my Jasmine, who is five, and Jessica, who is seven. I am embarrassed to admit I was not the mum they needed and so deserved. They witnessed my struggle with life — and it was undoubtedly having an effect on them.
The day they told me my girls could be taken from my care was a real turning point; one that made me realise I needed to reach out for help.
Determined not to lose my girls and desperate for help, I followed a friend’s advice and rang Cholmondeley. Through my tears I told the social worker that I would lose my kids if I didn’t get help. The social worker was amazing; she made me feel heard, supported and hopeful. She arranged for the girls to go to Cholmondeley that day so that they could get a break and we could look into getting further help for me.
Jasmine and Jessica stayed for three days that first time while I went to see different support agencies. I felt scared but ready to get help, and it was great to have that peace of mind that my kids were safe while I started my journey to recovery.
When I picked them up they were so calm and happy. The Strengths and Positives charts (pictured above) created at Cholmondeley brought tears to my eyes. They helped me to remember and notice the skills and strengths that my girls have. It made me realise that I hadn’t taken the time to really get to know my own kids.
We are now six months on, and Cholmondeley has become a second family for Jasmine and Jessica. The girls have built strong relationships with staff and love the activities that they get to do at Cholmondeley. They learn new skills, make friends and they are much more happy, settled and secure.
It is safe to say Cholmondeley has saved me, my kids, and our family unit. Without the support from Cholmondeley I know Jasmine and Jessica would have lost each other and their mum. Instead, we got the opportunity to grow closer and the girls have the best chance for a positive future.
Thank you very much.