We deliver a range of services to support children, young people and families facing a variety of challenges. By helping at an early stage, our work aims to prevent more serious problems arising in the future. Butterflies Emotional Wellbeing Service provides emotional wellbeing support sessions in local communities for young people aged 5 to 18, which are paid for by the parent or carer.

‘Butterflies’ aims to strengthen the young person’s emotional and social wellbeing, increase their self-esteem and resilience to help them to recognise their greatness to enable them to be better able to deal with the ups and downs of life.

Anna* contacted ‘Butterflies’ when her son, George* now aged 14, experienced some emotional difficulties. Here, Anna shares their story:

“George is classified as a young carer; life can be tough at home due to some of the challenges that his siblings have. It can be pretty intense for him and his ability to deal with it hasn’t always been great. He previously attended The Benjamin Foundation groups for young carers. Although George isn’t particularly sociable, he would look forward to it as it gave him a space to go where he could just be a teenager.

“However, around the time he hit puberty, George began to experience low moods and dark thoughts. He seemed to withdraw from family life, his sleep was disturbed and he became significantly different. He simply wasn’t finding joy in his life anymore. In desperation, I tried to find him some help but every avenue had a long waiting list. Then, I contacted The Benjamin Foundation and they told me about their new ‘Butterflies’ Emotional Wellbeing Support service.”

Although the ‘Butterflies’ service was then in its infancy, the fact that there was a something that could potentially give Anna and George some support when they needed it, gave them a boost.

“It gave me a feeling of hope.” Anna continues.

“George was apprehensive before his first ‘Butterflies’ session but then he met with [Support Worker] Bob and that anxiety disappeared. Almost straight away they realised they had shared interests and they bonded well. George came out of that first meeting relaxed and already a different child.

“Of course George’s time with Bob is private; it’s his time and his safe space to talk about whatever he wants to talk about. Bob’s role isn’t to find an answer but he listens and as a result, George is a changed child. He’s happier; it lifts him and bolsters his spirit. He’s now open to talking about different things. He’s responsive and spends more time with our family.

“I feel amazing that George is now getting the help that he needs. I feel hope for him – he has a bright future and he will be able to deal with his emotions.

“My advice to others in a similar situation is to give ‘Butterflies’ a try – there is everything to gain. George’s anxiety has now been taken away and he is lighter again. ‘Butterflies’ has been life-changing for him. It’s the perfect fit.”

For more information about how Butterflies Emotional Wellbeing Service could support your family, please contact Michael Rooke, Coordinator, Early Help Services on 01603 662939 or visit: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/service/butterflies-emotional-wellbeing/

Thank you to Anna and George for sharing their story.

*Names have been changed.

I enjoy doing it. It's a good cause. I can't run marathons or jump out of planes so I do this. The money raised provides ongoing help. It equips young people for life after The Benjamin Foundation.

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