Lucy's story

When we first met Lucy, age 14, she was struggling to come to terms with the serious domestic abuse of her mum by her mum’s ex-partner.

LucyLucy wasn’t just a witness – sometimes she had tried to intervene to protect her mum. This experience had left her emotions in turmoil. But in bottling-up what she was really thinking and feeling, she had turned to behaviour such as self-harming as a way of coping.

Lucy started one-to-one weekly support meetings with a Children 1st worker. Together, we would work towards her being happier, and more in control of her feelings and actions. Our worker met Lucy weekly for 10 months, and was inspired by her enthusiasm and determination to achieve her goals.

We helped Lucy find ways of lifting her mood, such as practice in positive thinking and believing in herself. We introduced her to techniques to help her calm and de-stress. With our support she began to better understand how her life experiences were influencing her thoughts, emotions and actions. Lucy found she could express her feelings through art materials, writing, and in talk – using phrases such as “I feel angry because…”.

Recovery is easier where there’s an adult to trust and talk to, and that’s the relationship Lucy was able to establish with her Children 1st worker. So they talked a lot about Lucy’s self-image, music and lyrics, friendships and the complicated world of relationships.

Each meeting started with an opportunity for Lucy to check on how she was doing on her journey to recovery. And through this we could also see real progress – including that she was needing support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services less often. But most revealing was that she began to plan for her future with enthusiasm and hope – travel, and possibly a career as a hair stylist. “My life is back on track,” Lucy said. “I’m liking who I am.”

Your donation can help us work with more vulnerable children and young people like Lucy.

  • £10 could pay for art materials used in one-to-one abuse and trauma recovery sessions.
  • £15 could pay for half an hour of call taking from ParentLine Scotland.
  • £25 could pay for a therapeutic support session for a child who has experienced abuse and trauma to help them recover and move on.


*names and identifying details have been changed to protect identity.

**Image posed by model**