The Southwell’s Story
"Not only has the trust provided us with a welcoming, safe and relaxing place to spend time together as a family but they have introduced us to many families in a similar situation - a true family of families." - Faye Southwell
Henry, now four, suffers with Koolen de Vries and Hurlers syndromes meaning he requires 24 hour care. The mainstream mother and baby groups Faye attended with Henry did not cater for their needs, and Faye found herself somewhat isolated when other mums were comparing the developmental milestones their children were achieving.
Having been told about the Trust by another parent, Faye soon became a regular visitor to The Bluebells, enjoying the pool, which is perfect for Henry’s needs, and day visits with friends. Faye has developed a good network of friends since becoming a service user, and sees them regularly at Trust organised events such as chill and chats, pamper days and sleepovers. It gives her an opportunity to let her hair down and have a break from the rigours of providing constant care to her son.
Henry also enjoys Trust activities and is starting to recognise friends who he sees both at school and at The Bluebells. They enjoy family activities together such as the Christmas in July party, Easter Egg hunt and other activity days the Trust puts on throughout the year – all in a safe, specially adapted environment.
Faye’s outreach worker, Carla, provides practical support, accompanying her and Henry on their frequent train visits to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Henry is not comfortable on long car journeys, so the assistance on the train and getting across London with his wheelchair is invaluable. Carla has also accompanied Faye and Henry on days out –for example a trip to Marwell Zoo – providing an extra pair of hands.
Faye has also had financial support from the Trust, and with assistance from a Finance Support Worker managed to obtain funding for a P-Pod, a supportive bean bag with harness meaning Henry is able to sit in comfort at home. This would normally cost around £700 so without the funding, the family would struggle to afford this equipment – the Trust’s support and knowledge of the application process helped make this possible.