It’s not just young people that The Door’s team support. We have a dedicated team supporting parents too, including mums, like Melanie…

Hi, I’m Melanie and this is my mentoring story.

Last year my son Harvey was finding school really hard, so hard that he had stopped going for most of the time. He has additional needs, and although he has a diagnosis and gets help at school it just didn’t seem to be working, and he couldn’t say why.

I was trying my best, doing everything I could for him. As a mum, you feel you should know what to do and be able to get everything sorted. But I’d just end up in tears all the time. A teacher at Harvey’s school suggested I speak to The Door. I was a bit reluctant at first, but I felt so unsupported and didn’t know what to do, so I gave them a ring.

As soon as Shona answered the phone I knew I was in the right place. She was so understanding and compassionate – I didn’t feel at all guilty about asking for help. It felt like the most natural, normal thing in the world. The Door had lots of support options for me to choose from. I chose a 1:1 mentor.

It was a bit weird at first – I didn’t really know what to say.

I find it hard to let people into my world. But my mentor is everything I needed. She knows the system and what  I needed to do to get mine and my son’s voices heard, and meeting with her is so much more than that. She’s a real friend – she’s just lovely and helpful and kind.

Sometimes I apologise because I feel like I’m talking too much, but that’s what she’s there for – to give me space to talk and to listen to me. She’s bolstered me up and encouraged me. She’s made me see that I’m doing well even when I think I’m failing.

I don’t feel like I’m on my own anymore.

I’ve had to push through lots of bureaucracy to get Harvey the help he deserves, and we’ve done so much of that together. With all my attention on my son, I was neglecting myself and my needs. Having the support of my mentor has allowed me to feel those being met. So I’m better able to support him and build on our relationship.

Harvey’s in college now, it’s so much better for him.

I was in a dark place before I came to The Door, but now I’m much more hopeful for our future.


Melanie’s Story

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