Below is an example of the impact our work can have on a young person.

S is aged 10 and lived with her Mum aged 47, her parents had been separated for many years. Mum had struggled with alcohol for many years, she had been in recovery several times. She was beginning a new journey of recovery shortly prior to lockdown. She unfortunately relapsed during lockdown. S was referred to Space Youth Befriending service in November 2021.  The reason for referral was Mum was concerned that S didn’t have many friends and she was missing out a lot on social activities.  Mum also spoke to us about feeling really guilty about having relapsed and how her drinking over many years had impacted on her young daughter.  She also has an older daughter and Son who had left the family home when they were younger. Mum maintained they had left because of her drinking.

Mum was extremely happy to have S have a befriender. She felt she really needed someone to talk to and for S to go out and have fun instead of feeling that she had to be there for Mum. Mum informed us at the first meeting that she was waiting to hear about being admitted to Rehab. Once admitted she would be in Rehab for a number of weeks.  She had arranged for S to stay with her older Sister.  She was concerned that S wouldn’t be able to get a befriender because she would be away staying with her Sister for a number of weeks.  We reassured her that this is fine, thanked her for giving us so much notice, we would inform the befriender that S wouldn’t be befriending on those weeks. She seemed very relieved to hear this.  She was very thankful to us.

S was very nervous and shy the first time she met her befriender.  We matched S with a volunteer who was also a Vet as S loved animals.  This proved to be a very good match for S. She quickly took to having a befriender and was really enjoying spending time with her. They met once a week and enjoyed doing many varied activities including, trampolining, Dalkeith Country Park, baking and cooking in the Hub, going to the Cinema and sometimes just going on long walks.  S grew in confidence and looked forward to seeing her befriender each week. She talked about being nervous about going into high school after the summer but through time she was beginning to feel excited about going to a new school and making new friends.

Three months into her befriending journey, S’s Mum went into Rehab in February 2022, after one week into Rehab, Mum suddenly passed away. She had undiagnosed Stage 4, cirrhosis of the liver.

We received a call from the member of staff from Circle who had referred S to Befriending to inform us of Mum’s passing.  We were all shocked and saddened by the sudden death of S’s Mum. Two Project Worker’s from Space Befriending attended the funeral.

Following on from the funeral we liaised with the member of Staff from Circle to discuss how we would support S and her family.  We informed each other when we had contacted family members and what plans were put in place from both services.

S moved in with her Sister just outside Edinburgh. Her Befriender agreed to continue to see S and would travel to meet her at her Sister’s.  S resumed meeting her Befriender at the beginning of April 2022.  Her Befriender reported that S didn’t speak about Mum for the first weeks but she has since spoke about her often and in a positive sense.  S is doing really well, her and her Sister will be moving further away from Edinburgh at the end of August.  S will be beginning High School in August. She is now really excited about starting High School.  Her Sister informed us that S is now accessing a local Youth Group in their area and that with all the changes and that S is doing well she would like to bring Befriending to a close.  S ended her Befriending journey in July 2022.

S’s Sister thanked us for all we had done for S and the family. She said she has seen such a positive difference in S especially after all they have been through and all the changes.