Home is where the heart is but for eight-year-old Sofia* and her mum Erica* it was also where the heartache was.
"We lost our house," said Erica. "It all happened so fast. Sofia was there watching as bailiffs turned up on our doorstep to repossess our flat. We eventually found another place to live but it was much further away from Sofia's school.
"She had begged me to let her stay at the same primary, so every day we commuted for two hours to school and then two hours back again to our new place. This meant Sofia was frequently exhausted and would fall asleep on the train. I worried that it was too much for her."
It didn't take long before Sofia's teacher noticed that she was constantly distracted and distant. Her grades suffered too. Single-parent Erica was willing to try anything to help her, so her class teacher suggested Sofia should speak to the school's Place2Be counsellor.
Mental Health And Emotional Support
Sofia's school, in London, is one of 520 across the UK with Place2Be counsellors to provide children with mental health and emotional support. The charity helps almost 300,000 children every year - and that number is growing thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery who have so far raised more than £2.6 Million to support the charity in its work.
Place2Be can offer a lifeline for children and their parents and the subsequent counselling sessions were life-changing.
Erica continued, "Sofia saw her counsellor for just over a year and I noticed a big change in her. She became more settled with her friends again, her grades improved, and the bad dreams stopped. Sofia is my priority so knowing that she wasn't scared any more meant everything.
"The counsellor supported me too. I could chat to her about anything. She put me in touch with organisations that help people find more suitable housing and that's how we found our new flat, which is back in the old neighbourhood. I'm so pleased Place2Be counsellors were available at my daughter's school.
"Things are going well for us now. Sofia loves her school again and has made lots of new friends as well as reconnecting with the old ones. Thanks to the team at Place2Be I am excited about the future."
*Names changed to protect identity.
Making A Difference
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