Saidha’s story

Mum and two children playing

Saidha was a refugee and single mum with a three-day-old baby girl and a one-year-old son when she was referred to Home-Start Slough by a health visitor. She had no recourse to public funds and had very limited English.

A victim of recent domestic violence, Saidha, and her children, were alone and isolated, barely leaving the house other than to go to her cleaning job.

The family were wearing coats when the weather was cold as she did not have enough money to heat the house properly. A mattress on the floor was the bed for all three of them.

Saidha was not receiving the right medical care as her family were not registered with a doctor. Her desperate situation was made worse by uncertainty over whether she and her children could remain in the country.

Home-Start Slough stepped in, providing the family with a home-visiting volunteer, Jane, who visited and supported Saidha and her children once a week for almost two years.

Jane help Saidha register with a GP and accompanied her and her children to medical appointments. She introduced her to a health visitor to ensure the young mum was getting the right advice and helped her to access financial support so she could heat her home, buy a new bed and make sure the children had warm clothes.

With Jane’s support, Saidha was able to access support from a number of organisations including the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Shelter, Women’s Aid and her local children’s centre.

She started attending Home-Start Slough’s weekly family support group where she made new friends and developed a support network. She even enrolled on ESOL classes to improve her English. Other days with Jane were spent in the local park where the children enjoyed playing on the swings.

With Home-Start Slough’s support, Saidha’s immigration and marital status were resolved and she was given leave to remain in the country. All three of them are now safe, happy and enjoying the support and companionship of a new network of friends.