Meet mum and son Janet and Nathan, from Hackney, whose lives were turned around by a dedicated RSBC expert. Their struggle is familiar to us at RSBC, which is why we’re asking for your support, to help us reach every local family that needs us.
Single parent Janet and her visually impaired son Nathan are currently receiving support from RSBC. Janet and Nathan live in Hackney in shared housing, where they have one room to themselves. Janet wants to work and be financially independent and is training to be a social worker. Life for the pair has been an uphill struggle, with no other family nearby to help out.
Janet struggles financially and has a tough time balancing the demands of looking after Nathan with her full time studies.
Janet says, “Nathan has Nystagmus and high degree myopia which severely affects his sight. When he was born I was told that his sight would get worse in the future. I was completely devastated.”
“When Nathan was a baby, his condition didn’t really impact on us much, but now that he is nine and growing fast, his visual impairment is really affecting his behaviour at school and at home. I do find it very difficult to cope at times. Nathan is often bullied about his condition at school, which obviously makes him feel very sad and it’s heart-breaking. ”
“We live in temporary accommodation provided by the local authority, it’s very small and we live far away from the school. This means that Nathan feels isolated from his friends at school and he has nobody to play with locally. This whole situation is making us both feel very frustrated.”
In January 2018, Janet was referred to RSBC by The Hackney Learning Trust. Crucially, Janet now has a dedicated expert to provide support to both of them.
“Before I discovered RSBC, I had no one to talk to about my life with Nathan. Our Family Support Worker, Erick, has helped me with many aspects of my financial problems, including my housing benefit claim and our application to the local authority for more suitable accommodation.
Erick has also helped Nathan to get involved in some activities for blind and visually impaired children to help build his confidence and help him tackle some of the issues he is dealing with at school. He suggested that Nathan went along to some of RSBC’s fun activities, like robot making and climbing, which he has really enjoyed. Also I’m delighted that he has made a couple of friends and always comes home smiling.”
“Erick told me from the start that I can call him whenever there is something I need to talk about or sort out. It means a lot to me, it’s very important, it cheers me up. I don’t feel so alone these days.”
There are 245 families like Janet and Nathan, living with the consequences of childhood sight loss in Hackney alone.
At the moment we’re only able to reach 48 of them. With your support we want to make sure we reach every local family that needs us.
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