Anna found a safe haven at our Abingdon Foyer
Anna came to our Abingdon Foyer following three months in a mum and baby foster placement after having to leave home with her baby Jessica*. On arrival Anna found out they were the first parent and baby to be housed at the Foyer.
At the Foyer the staff helped Anna attend the children’s centre for messy play and music, "I had “home start” come out and help once a week and I integrated into Foyer life, attending activities such as The Neet Workshop, Thorpe park" she recalls "... and I made a short film with an animation group and made lots of new friends. Staff also helped me with managing my own flat, my money and paying bills".
Anna experienced a few ups and downs at the Foyer dealing with a baby and subsequently Jessica was taken away and placed into a foster placement; "I was devastated. I really struggled with the fact my baby had been taken away from me however the Foyer staff were so helpful and supported me through the pain and loss. With their support, it wasn’t long before I started contact sessions with Jessica and although they were happy sessions, it was still hard knowing I couldn’t take her home and would often run back to the Foyer crying. Staff would always be on hand to talk things through with me".
After Jessica was taken away Anna signed up to college to get higher grades in Maths and English. The college were really supportive and scheduled Anna's time table around the contact visits with her baby - allowing her time off for Court dates.
Anna recalls that "Staff helped me build up my confidence and had belief in my ability to pass my exams".
Happily, Anna did pass her Maths and English exams – something she says she didn’t think she would do.
Meanwhile Jessica was permanently placed into the care of Anna's ex-Stepmother and although she is now nearly two hours away, they come to visit once a month for the day and Anna has spent a weekend at their home. About the arrangement Anna says; "I do miss her (Jessica) everyday but I know I have made the right decision as I can’t provide the right life for her at the moment."
Overall, Anna feels she is; "...a different person now. I know it has taken time and having a baby should have made me grow up but I feel I am more focused and stronger than I have ever been. I'm still learning not to push people away when I feel things are getting too much, but I am getting better with this as I have learnt to talk about how I feel before shutting myself away from everyone".
Thinking of the future Anna says that the "staff have always been there for me so I know I can begin to trust some people and build relationships. I am hopefully moving closer to my mum into another, more independent, housing project as my mum has said I can get a job with her (it's not practical with transport where I am now).
I feel I am ready to move on now and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do so without the Foyer showing me how to be more independent – even when I didn’t realise they were doing it.
I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the help of the Foyer and I will never forget it".
*Names changed to protect the privacy of our resident.