Like most emergency accommodation the hotel they’re living in is full of other people, struggling with their own difficult issues. Aisling wants to protect Sophie from witnessing anything bad so she feels forced to stay in their small room, just to feel safe.
On bad days, when the walls really feel like they’re closing in, they’ll go for long walks together.
On bad days, when the walls really feel like they’re closing in, they’ll go for long walks together. They walk for miles, looking out for builders at work. Aisling had told Sophie that the reason they don’t have a house yet is because the builders were taking such a long time to build them one. Sophie used to love seeing a builder at work. Any time she saw a van with bricks or wood she would get excited, shouting out “that’s for our house Mammy.” But that excitement is gone now. These days, when she sees a builder Sophie looks the other way.
Her whole world has shrunk to that narrow space between two hotel beds.
Sophie no longer believes that she’s a special girl, lucky to be living in a hotel. She doesn’t believe that anyone is building her a new home. She can no longer see beyond the same four walls that confine her every day. Her whole world has shrunk to that narrow space between two hotel beds. If childhood memories are the ones that shape our being, then what kind of future will Sophie have?
Thankfully, Aisling and Sophie were able to turn to Barnardos for help.
We couldn’t organise a new home for them – but we could help make small changes to improve their current living conditions. We supported Aisling and helped her get an emergency payment to purchase a mini fridge and hotplate. Now she can hold some fresh foods and cook some healthier meals for her and Sophie. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Where we can really make a difference though is in the kind of developmental support we offer children like Sophie.
Sophie was enrolled in her local Barnardos After School Group. Working on a one to one basis with Sophie we’re making sure that she understands what’s going on, and how to express her feelings appropriately. She’s starting to get her confidence back and Aisling can already see the difference in her. Sophie will proudly march ahead now when they go for a walk. When she passes someone in the street she looks them in the eye and smiles hello.
Things are beginning to look up for Sophie and her mam. But Sophie is just one of many children needing our help.
Please consider making a donation today. Your support won’t solve the homelessness crisis, but it will have a huge and lasting impact on a child whose future is threatened by the circumstances they find themselves living in.
Donate now securely online or Callsave 1850 222 300