Barnardos – You’re doing so much for Erin and Una

Erin, 7, was great at sharing. She always shared her toys with her sister Una, who she shared a room with. But she didn’t like sharing her bed with Una, who would always steal all the blanket and take up all the space.

Erin wanted to sleep in a bed of her own, where she would have a big blanket just to herself. But the bedroom was too small to fit two beds and the girls had been sharing a single bed since they were little. And they are growing up so fast.

Dad had lost his job and Mam was a stay-at-home mum, so things had become strained financially, with the current cost-of-living crisis making things even more difficult. With Mam and Dad constantly worrying about putting a meal on the table, the children could feel something wasn’t right, and Erin soon started developing anxiety. She ate less as she wanted her parents to stop worrying about food running out.

Dad turned to Barnardos for support, and a project worker was assigned to the family. She responded with immediate crisis management, including food packs and vouchers.

Erin attended individual sessions with their project worker where she could talk freely about how she felt. She was just so worried all the time, seeing her parents struggling like this. In these sessions, she is learning to manage her stress using breathing and meditation exercises.

And one day the best thing happened. A delivery van stopped in front of the house and out came… a bunk bed! Erin would no longer need to share a bed with her sister – she’d finally have a bed of her own! She could not believe it. Una pointed at a big white bag the delivery driver brought out of the van. She had never seen new bedding before, still in the packaging.

Now Erin and Una each have their own bed to sleep in, with brand new warm duvets and sheets.


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