Callum's story

Callum had a difficult time growing up, with lots of worries at school and at home. When him and his mum were supported by Children 1st, things started to change.

My name is Callum – I’m 16 now and my mum used to drink a lot of alcohol when I was growing up. She was drinking from when I was young and I remember being worried about what she was going to be like when I got home. Sometimes I’d come back and find her drunk, sometimes she’d been sick and I had to help her.

I had a lot of worries at school growing up and had a bad time with being bullied. Mum would try and help but things didn’t really get any better. We didn’t do much as a family when I was a kid – I wish that we had. I remember being embarrassed by Mum’s drinking. My friends would see her drunk and although I sort of found it funny seeing her like that, I was also really worried and didn’t know what to do.

Then Mum got some help from Children 1st, I did too and things started to change. She stopped drinking alcohol and we started to do things together. We even got to go on a holiday together. It was amazing; it really helped our relationship.

My worker helped with school stuff and also helped me to get support for my autism and diabetes. She went the extra mile for me, she treated me as an equal not as a child and was just a lovely person. We had some days out together and I got to trust her.

I think back to when I was younger and I wish that there had been more support for me back then. I think it would have been helpful to have someone to let school know what was happening with Mum and make sure they understood. Someone to help me with ways to cope and to help me understand why Mum was drinking so much; someone to talk to about my feelings, to help me and Mum talk together and to have some activities together as a family would have been great. When we eventually got support we did this, I’m not sure why but it just felt good.

Now I’m making the steps to get into college or another course; I’m a bit anxious but I know I can do it. It helps that Mum isn’t drinking alcohol anymore as I know she’s there for me, to help me.


To protect the confidentiality of the young person, identifying information has been changed.