Families First News

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News from the Intensive Family Support Team - Watford & Three Rivers

Congratulations to Jill Howe for successfully completing the “Certificate for Tackling and Preventing Domestic and Sexual Violence/Abuse”.  Jill has been our domestic abuse champion for a number of years and co-facilitated courses, including My Life, Caring Dads and Triple R.  She is passionate about supporting victims of domestic abuse, both women and men, always advocating that men in particular are still reluctant to report abuse and often suffer in silence.  Jill will continue to co-facilitate courses from Otley Family Centre and also offer 1-1 sessions with victims for our team’s families. 

Well done Jill – we’re very proud of you!

Broxbourne Food Bank

We managed to make a small donation to the Broxbourne Foodbank just before Christmas from the sale of some Families First coffee cups.

Here’s a photo of Jeremy, who runs the Foodbank, and works tirelessly providing such a useful service. The Foodbank always welcome volunteers so please get in touch if you are in the Broxbourne area and would like to commit some of your time to volunteering.

Carly’s Story

As a young child, Carly’s family was plunged into tragedy by the suicide of her dad. Understandably this caused huge difficulties within the family. As she grew into a teenager, Carly was full of anger and her mental health began to deteriorate. Arguments with her mum began to escalate and there was constant conflict within their relationship. Carly’s younger sister, Anna, found herself getting very upset as the loud arguments erupted around her. Her brother James started to copy Carly’s aggressive behavior and the home became an impossible place for any of them to spend time together. Carly’s mum approached us for support and the hyh mediation team worked with the family for two spells of six weeks to resolve the conflict. Each time, this helped for a few months and Carly remained at home.

However, Carly’s problems took a turn for the worse when she was sexually abused by a family friend and her mum refused to believe her. By now, Carly had started taking drugs to help her escape the problems and her behaviour had become unmanageable. She was full of anger and most of it was directed at her mum.  At 16, things came to a head when Carly was evicted by her mum who could no longer cope with her in the family home, particularly taking into account the effect on the younger siblings. hyh provided advice to Carly and accommodated her in one of our emergency Crashpad rooms at a supported hostel for an 8 week period over Christmas. Our Dual Diagnosis team continued to offer support to Carly with her drug and mental health issues. Once her temporary emergency stay came to an end, hyh arranged for Carly to live in a supported hostel where she maintained her tenancy for two years. During this time, incriminating photographs were found on her abuser’s phone and a lengthy court case was ongoing.  

With the right support in place, after a period of time, Carly began to feel more settled in the hostel and accepted that she needed help to address her anger issues, drug dependency and mental health problems. With help from hyh, she applied for and was accepted onto a college course. After two years, she was allocated a brand new housing association property and, again, hyh were able to help. Carly’s support worker assisted her firstly to get hold of a postcode, then to set up utility bills, apply for a grant for a new washing machine and also to secure 1 year’s free connection to the internet which really helped her studies. hyh also arranged for Krav Maga self defence classes which Carly loved and she began to attend twice a week which really helped to develop her confidence. With the right help over the last four years, Carly is now much more settled and has built up her relationship again with her mum and her family. She is doing well at college and is almost unrecognizable from the angry and disorientated young person she was.


Christmas Crafts with CHEXS

           Supporting Families and the Local Community to Reach their Goals

Christmas Crafts with CHEXS - a phenomenal response

CHEXS have delivered 14 FREE Christmas Craft sessions with our local schools.

We got crafty with 420 people, including: 241 Young people, 16 Pre-schoolers,

5 Grandparents and 158 Parents who took home some incredibly creative Christmassy creations.

L👀k out for our Spring Crafts starting 11th March!

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