no photo | JUST A STORY OF HOPE
1 July 2013
19 years ago I met a 2 year old little girl. Her mum used to come to the office door to ask for food. Over the years we tried to support her and her family and she joined our youth work project - we had fun, laughed, played and went of adventures together. However, it seemed that nothing we could do was enough to either support her or keep her safe and after going missing on a number of occasions she was taken in to care and moved away. We didn't see her for about 5 years and then she came back to ask for our help when she was 18 ... she was addicted to crack and was a total mess, her face covered in scabs and scars, her clothes torn, in another abusive relationship she had knocked on the door to ask for food ... and so we started again
We sent her flowers when she was in hospital, we visited her in prison, we just did all we could to let her know that she was valued ... again most of the time it seemed in vain. She had lots of 'professional help' but no long term, constant relationships with positive adults apart from us. It seemed that she really valued that and would pop in from time to time, just to be with us and catch up.
We had a phone call a couple of months ago, she seemed cheerful and had successfully completed rehab. She now lives far away from here in a safe and supportive place, but today she just 'popped in', she had come to see us to say hi.
It was wonderful to see her, looking well and healthy and smiling and hopeful. She is beginning to believe that she is a loved and valued person. My friend Pip would say she's a Beautiful Human Person and I would agree, not just now but all through the journey.
When all our programmes and plans fail, sometimes all we can do is try and show young people love.
Today this makes more sense to me than it did yesterday - I asked what made her come by to say hi, she said 'this place has been like a home to me'.