“It’s all complicated. Goodness to me, did I need some support. Otherwise, I doubt that I’d have coped. I suppose it all centres on my great grand daughter, Jessica. She’s just had her second birthday.”


“Jessica’s mum is Chrissie, my grand daughter. I more or less brought Chrissie up since she was nine years old, although she spent some time in care when she was a bit out of control. She was a young bride and along came Jessica, but so did domestic violence, so social services got involved.

“Social workers asked if I could look after baby Jessica from time to time, taking a bit of pressure off the parents. Eventually, they thought it best that they split up, with mum and baby coming to live at my place. Chrissie started going back to her husband at weekends, then longer periods – and baby was left with me.

“Their problems just carried on: worse, I think. They separated again. This time, though, social services decided Chrissie wasn’t in a fit state of mind. Rather than the baby go into care, I said I would take her. Court was involved, of course, and they gave mum and father supervised visiting rights.

“I was really worried about things like bathing Jessica. I’m not as steady as I used to be. I think it was social services that arranged for Home-Start to get involved. What a relief it’s been. It’s a lot more than cups of tea and grown-up chats, although they’re very welcome. Home-Start has helped with bathing and supervision while I get on and do other things. They’ve been taking her to nursery for me once a week. And they’ve come with me into town to do bits of shopping.

“Life has changed and it’s been for the better. Couldn’t recommend Home-Start more, just couldn’t.”