Our BBC Radio 4 Appeal - Anna’s Story

Our BBC Radio 4 Appeal - Anna’s Story

News article from June 21, 2022

Our appeal is open between 19 and 26 June. Presented by our patron Lady Sophie Windsor, it will next be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 23 June at 3.27pm.

Today, we are sharing Anna’s Story

Anna was referred to School-Home Support after the passing of her father. Grief was causing her to feel extremely anxious and this was impacting on life at school. Our practitioner Sophie supported Anna and her family at this very painful  time. She reached out to school when communication was difficult and found practical solutions to deal with Anna’s anxiety, so she could join in at school and not fall behind with lessons. With Sophie’s help, the family developed new relationships with Anna’s teachers as well as new ways of doing things at home, both which will help Anna in the long term. 

What was the situation?

Losing her father caused Anna to feel extremely anxious, she couldn’t sleep and often had emotional outbursts. She had strong separation anxiety from her mum and sister and found it very difficult to be at school away from them. 

As Anna was often feeling too anxious to sleep, when she did attend school she was too tired to concentrate and properly engage in class. Anna and her family were at crisis point, and were in need of tailored support to tackle the causes of Anna’s anxiety and enable her to spend more time in school.

How did School-Home Support help?

Our practitioner Sophie first got to know Anna and her family, building a relationship of trust and understanding. She worked with Anna, her mum, and her sister to develop a structure for Anna’s morning and bedtime routines. Sophie also arranged for weekly 1:1 meetings with Anna to talk through how she was feeling, creating a safe space in which she could share her worries and concerns.

Sophie would also check in with Anna’s mum on a weekly basis, to see how the whole family were  getting on, and supported them to arrange bereavement counselling.

In just four weeks, Sophie noticed a difference in Anna’s engagement with the 1:1 sessions, and her morning and evening routines were helping to reduce her anxious feelings enough to attend after school activities such as dance, swimming and martial arts which made her feel stronger and happier. Anna says the focus of her new activities really help her to overcome the challenges of her bereavement. Anna’s mum has noticed that Anna has started to open up more about how she feels about losing her dad which helps her mum understand how best to support her.

Families like Anna’s need our support now more than ever.

By engaging with the whole family, School-Home Support can build a bridge between home and school and start to unpick the barriers to good school attendance. Through our unique family support model, we are getting children back into school, ready to learn, and building stronger families for the future.

At this time of great need, we can make a difference if we act now. We need your support to ensure that we are able to reach as many children as possible.

If you haven’t already, please donate to our Radio 4 Appeal, open between 19 and 26 June.

You can catch it broadcast live at the following times:

  • Sunday 19 June at 7.54am
  • Sunday 19 June at 9.25pm
  • Thursday 23 June at 3.27pm

Or you can listen to the recording of the appeal and donate via the BBC Radio 4 Appeal website here.

On average it costs £1000 to provide direct support to a family like Anna’s for six months. By donating £40 you can fund a week’s worth of help to get a child back to school and ready to learn. The Bloomfield Trust, who fund our Special Education Needs work, will match the first £10,000 of your donations pound for pound.

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