A much-needed smile on her first Mother’s Day

Lisa story for web

“I’m really looking forward to seeing her smile, as she’s so low about her situation she doesn’t get to smile.”
– Lisa, Social Worker

Katie* hasn’t had much reason to smile lately. Despite embarking on the journey of motherhood, a path that should be filled with joy and anticipation, her world feels far too heavy. At 17 years old, Katie finds herself adrift. Unable to live at home after becoming estranged from her parents, remaining with her boyfriend’s family not being an option. Her vulnerability is at an all-time high as she tries to navigate parenthood and sleepless nights with no support system to lean on.

She’s been placed in emergency accommodation for the time being. Stripped of familiarity and warmth, she has very few belongings and needs lots of items for her baby. Even the simple act of cooking is a daunting task, with facilities that don’t work properly.

She needed a lifeline and with the help of her Social Worker, Lisa, she got just that…

Having worked with us before, Lisa knew where to turn for help. She reached out to us for bundles of clothing for baby, a stockpile of nappies, and lots of other baby essentials.

Lisa talked to one of our team about Mum’s circumstances and how low she’d been feeling. With Mother’s Day only a week away, we knew we couldn’t let this special occasion pass unnoticed. Our A Gift For Mum campaign was designed precisely for moments like this – to acknowledge Mums that might feel forgotten. We carefully selected one of our orange bags filled with pamper treats; containing shower toiletries because we knew Katie didn’t have a bath. We included a card handwritten by one of our volunteers with some words of praise and encouragement.



But we didn’t stop there…

We knew an extra special boost was needed, so set about sourcing what other things Katie might like. Lisa was able to advise on Mum’s preferences and size, so we could be confident she’d love what was coming her way. Working closely with Lisa, we handpicked items of older teenage clothing which matched her style, some cosy slippers and a lovely pair of shoes (which were a big hit!). We also gifted some soft towels and a lovely snug blanket. We included a stylish duvet set for Mum to really brighten up their home, knowing that a new bedspread can make a big difference. Having a baby to care for, we wanted to encourage Katie to take some time to nurture her mental health, so we added one of our teen care packs which include self-care items to stay physically and mentally well.

When Lisa called Mum from the warehouse to find out her exact clothes and shoe sizes, Mum burst into tears. Lisa, overcome with emotion herself, couldn’t wait to deliver the carload of items she knew would put a long overdue smile on Mum’s face. With it being Mother’s Day the following weekend, it felt even more special.

When she handed the items over, Lisa told us how Mum was lost for words because she had never received such generosity. She spent a long time going through all the items, showing them to her baby, saying things like “Look what you’ve got”.

Mum put the Mother’s Day gift to one side until Sunday, but not before having a peek in the bag because she couldn’t contain her excitement. On giving her the Mother’s Day gift, Lisa said, “This is for Mummy”, to which she replied, “I am a Mummy, aren’t I?”. Lisa has since told us how she’s seen a noticeable change in Mum, who has grown in confidence, and concerns from social services have consequently stepped down. They’ve even been moved from emergency to temporary accommodation, so things seem a lot more stable.

We learned that the baby needed a safe sleeping space. He’d outgrown the Moses basket and as a result was not settling to sleep. There wasn’t sufficient space for a standard-sized cot so we were able to provide a sleeping solution that worked. We were delighted to hear that the baby had settled immediately in his new bed, which was an added boost for everyone.

On a recent visit to the warehouse, Lisa was able to return some of the early clothes that the baby had outgrown. Mum was determined to return them after quizzing Lisa about Stripey Stork. She wanted other families to benefit from them like they had. Mum gave them back in the same condition they were gifted to her; freshly laundered and carefully folded.

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Lisa and the many amazing referral partners we work with every day, who consistently go the extra mile for the families they support. They are there for them, investing time to understand their individual stories, needs and worries. This is one of the key reasons why we work on a referral basis, entrusting these dedicated professionals to navigate the complexities of each family’s situation with care and expertise.

It means the world knowing that we’ve been able to contribute to helping Katie and her baby in this way, put a smile on her face and give reassurance that they are not alone. They are part of a community that cares, on Mother’s Day and every day of the year.

* Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

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