It’s been a while since I last posted on our website, to be honest i’m not sure where the last couple of years have gone! Actually I remember; it’s been a haze of COVID-19, lockdowns, changing jobs, moving homes and raising Elsie (who will soon turn 3 🥰 ).
Mum would have been 70 today. If I could have just one wish it would be that Mum and Elsie met. As it is, Elsie loves looking at photos of “Dada’s Mama” and she will learn all about Mum in other ways.
After an enforced 14 month hiatus the Anglesey Coastal Path walks resumed in May 2021 with a good part of the eastern Isle now complete and only 3 more walks to go. Keep an eye out for some updates on these here on this website, our Facebook page and the WhatsApp group (let me know if you want to join that group). A huge thanks to John Smailes for persevering and organising these walks; I am so grateful and, now that we’re living back in Rhos on Sea, it’s been great to be able to join the last few.
In terms of activity the Foundation had a quiet year in 2020. We did a few things worth shouting about, including:
- Awarding another grant to a local healthcare professional (this time a midwife based in Wrexham) to allow her to study on the ABM’s Foundational breastfeeding course. This means that we have fully funded training for 12 HCP’s at Foundational or Advanced level, all based in North Wales. We are proud of this and hope to do more in this space in the near future
- We also purchased and donated 11 breastfeeding pumps to local practices to help new mothers
- A local healthvisitor in Conwy identified a family in desperate need of support in the run up to Christmas 2020, so we as a Foundation were able to assist with the purchase of carpet, mattresses, bedding and clothing for the young family
- And finally we donated £1,000 towards the cost of installing a defibrillator at the Rest and Be Thankful Cafe at the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno
During 2020 we continued to fundraise through the Angelsey Coastal Path walks, and in 2021 we were grateful to receive a large donation from St Davids Leisure Park in Red Wharf Bay, Angelsey (thank you!) along with further donations from everyone who got involved in the walks – thank you to you all!!
In 2021 we decided to invest a significant amount (£5,000 to date) to support the Colwyn Bay branch of DASU (Domestic Abuse Safety Unit), supporting a cause that we know was close to Sue’s heart. The majority of DASU’s funding is ringfenced for known cases, so as a Foundation we have been able to contribute into a pot for emergency response in dire situations. Rather than giving out cash, DASU buy vouchers for local shops (eg, Morrisons, Primark, New Look, Argos) and these vouchers are given to women in need for emergency items, food and clothing and are issued on a case by case basis when a desperate need is identified by one of DASU’s workers.
Below are two case studies given to us by DASU to highlight the impact our support has had.
Once case that sticks out in my memory from recent months, is when a mother and three children (2 with autism) separated from the perpetrator who left them with nothing – she had very little money coming in as he controlled the finances. The property had really bad damp, made worse as she could not afford to put the heating on and feed her children. She was also going without food as she didn’t have enough for herself and her children. Her Support Worker from DASU came to me explained how upsetting it was to see someone in this position. I offered a food voucher and a clothes voucher as her children needed warm coats. The support worker cried upon this offer as she knew what this would mean for the lady and her children. We were able to set the lady up on benefits long term, but these vouchers enabled her to be able to eat and feed her children in the short term and be able to give them a warm coat – for outside and inside their home. The damp is also being addressed with the landlord and she is able to have some heating on.
And a second case study:
The client was referred to DASU from North Wales Police following an incident of domestic abuse which resulted in a physical injury to the couple’s young baby. As a result of this both children were placed in the care of the local authority and placed on a child protection plan.
The client lost her children, her relationship and eventually her job due to the ongoing investigation. This all had a detrimental impact on her mental and physical health, finances, relationships and lifestyle.
Interventions & support
I have supported this client twice weekly and offered person centered, trauma informed emotional support. We have slowly tackled each barrier as they have been identified and worked together to overcome them.
One of the biggest issues since losing her job was her finances. She was still paying for her home and supporting the children financially once they were placed in the care of family members so was struggling each month to make ends meet.
During a face to face support session the client shared that she had been struggling to afford her basics such as food and was actively looking for employment but was finding it challenging to do so whilst navigating her scheduled child contact sessions throughout the week. She had received support from the foodbank but they were often short of fresh food and struggled to carry the heavy tins with her on the bus.
During this session I provided her with a Morrisons voucher to spend on essentials and she was over the moon. She said “Wow thank you – I can eat something healthy tonight and buy some toilet paper!”
Outcome & client feedback
Although the client is still currently in service, she now has unsupervised contact with both of her children and the ability to have them over night with the intention of being the primary carer following final checks from social services.
She has a new job working evenings to fit in around her children and is living independently and managing her own finances. She has also started a University degree and is looking forward to the future.
“To have someone throw you a lifeline, even something simple such as a voucher to help you through the dark days can be life changing. It reminded me that there is support and people really do care”
I’d like to finish this update by promising it won’t be so long until the next one, and by saying a huge thank you to all of you for supporting The Sue Moreton Foundation.