52 Lives

#230 Katie

Request: Furniture / Painting / Donations / Gifts

This week, we’d like to help a teenage girl called Katie.

Katie is a kind, funny, creative girl with big ambitions to become a human rights lawyer and change the world. But she is struggling.

When Katie was younger, she suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her father. And it has deeply affected her mental health. She has depression and anxiety, recurring nightmares, and spends most of her time locked in her bedroom. She is bright, but misses a lot of school. She has periods of time where she doesn’t leave the house for weeks and sometimes doesn’t even leave her bedroom for days. The room is in complete disarray, which her mum feels is making things even worse.

Katie lives with her mum (Emma) and brother (Ben) who are both trying desperately to help her. She is having counselling now, but Emma feels helpless as to what else she can do to make things better for her daughter. She said:

“I’ve spent many nights praying at the foot of her locked bedroom door and often wonder if she will ever be able to trust in people again. I want her to believe that people can be kind, without wanting to hurt her, and that she is deserving of love.”

Emma was in an abusive relationship with the children’s father many years ago. After being raped by him in her home, she eventually found the strength to leave when the children were young. She has done everything she can to keep the children safe and to make sure they never have to see him again. Sadly Emma lost her Mum (her best friend) to a serious illness a few years after escaping the abuse. Two years later, Emma was diagnosed with stage 3 Cancer. She survived, but the effects of the aggressive cancer treatment remain. Post cancer Emma was diagnosed with a mental and physical impairment, which impacts all aspects of her life and the way she functions. Emma has accepted all of this and has had a lot of therapy over the years, but she knows her experiences have affected both of her children (especially Katie).

Katie’s brother, Ben, adores his mum and his sister and he helps his mum a lot, but he has also been affected by what his sister has gone through and it has changed their relationship. Sadly, mental illness affects all family members.

The 3 of them live in a 2 bedroom flat. Emma sleeps on a camp bed in the living room, so the children can both have their own bedrooms. She doesn’t mind, but admitted she feels embarrassed when people come to visit.

With your help, we’d love to do something kind for Katie and her family.

What We Need

1. Donations: We need to raise funds to pay for a painter, a carpenter, and to buy furniture. To make a donation, please click the link below. 100% of what you give will be used to help this family.

2. Furnishings from a wishlist: We have set up an Amazon wishlist with some things for Katie's bedroom. To buy a gift, please click the link below. Please note, there are only a small number of gifts on the list so if it is empty, please consider helping by making a donation or buying an Argos gift card.

3. Argos gift cards: Many of the items we need for Katie are from Argos. If you would like to buy a gift card to help towards the cost of these, please click below to send an e-Gift card. Please email the gift cards to admin@52-lives.org.

4. Messages: To send a message to Katie, Emma or Ben, please write it in the form below and we will pass it along (your contact details will not be shared). Or messages can be posted to:
52 Lives (Life # 230), PO Box 3154, Reading, RG1 9AT. 

Buy a gift

Buy an Argos eGift card


In 1 week we received almost £2000 in donations, gifts and gift cards, and the amazing team at Black Swan Financial Planning raised funds to help cover the cost of painting. The rooms have been cleared and painted, furniture assembled, and a cabinet has been built around the camp bed that Katie’s mum sleeps on, so she no longer feels embarrassed when people come to their flat. ⁣⁣

On top of all of that, we may also have found a work placement for Katie in a law firm (her dream job) thanks to a kind supporter.⁣⁣
Thank you to everyone else who helped in some way, and thank you to Love Lula Bula for their beautiful gifts. And finally, a big thank you to GalaBingo.com for their incredible fundraising!⁣
Katie’s mum, said: ⁣

"𝐘𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐨 𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐚 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬. 𝗪𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐚𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐬𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲, 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭. 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐰 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐇𝐔𝐆𝐄 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝. 𝐋𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭’𝐬 𝐬𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐩. 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐬. 𝐈’𝐦 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐟𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝, 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝...𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐈 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐰𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭." ⁣⁣