Supporting vulnerable families: Melanie’s story



Melanie was referred to our project at Andrew Provan House (APH) due to homelessness. At that time, she had a two-year-old child and was pregnant. For the previous two years Melanie had been forced to move from several different addresses, which had a detrimental impact on her mental health. When she arrived, she was very anxious and afraid she would be moved on yet again.


As she settled into APH, Melanie began counselling sessions for her anxiety. For the sake of their children, both Melanie and her ex-partner agreed to find a way to manage their relationship so they could share parenting responsibilities. One of the main sources of Melanie’s anxiety was not being in a safe place to bring up her children. She also lacked any support and help, fearing that she didn’t have the skills or knowledge to be a good parent. Her own family had rejected her when she met her ex-partner, who, due to religious and cultural differences, was not accepted by them.


Living at APH gave Melanie the security she needed and supported her in developing skills and confidence as a parent. Melanie attended mother and baby groups. She also took the positive step of becoming more independent, growing in confidence as she gained the knowledge, she needed to manage her own life and that of her children. She pursued further education, to learn new skills. Melanie became a popular resident, providing emotional support for others in the house. She was keen to share her own experience to help her fellow residents, offering hope to other women who have suffered similar traumas.


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