52 Lives

#239 Denae

Request: Donations for furniture / Gifts from a wishlist / Gift Cards / Messages

This week, we’d like to help a teenage girl called Denae, who cares for her mum.

When Denae was 11 years old, her mum developed various medical conditions that reduced her mobility. Her mum became dependent on her for her daily care. At this young age, Denaue would get up early to get her mum dressed and ready, make breakfast, then prepare her mum’s lunch so she had something to eat while Denae was at school. In the evening, she would help bathe her mum and get her ready for bed.

Denae’s sister and her 6 children (one who has autism) had to moved in for a period of time. This helped Denae in some ways, as there was someone else to care for her mum, but the flat was seriously overcrowded and Denae felt overwhelmed.

It is just Denae and her mum now, which has given her some space of her own again. But it has also meant that all of her mum’s care has fallen back onto Denae’s shoulders.

Their flat is in a bad state. They barely have any furniture, and what they do have is mostly broken. Denae’s bed is smashed in the middle, she has no curtains, a makeshift desk, no storage space and none of the things she needs for school. They have no table, and usually eat on their laps or in their bedrooms.

Denae was nominated by a youth worker, who said she is so bright and ambitious, but has far too much to deal with. Danae has a dream to go to Cambridge University and ultimately to become a surgeon. “She has been working around the clock, studying and caring for her mum, and she has worn herself out.”

The Covid 19 pandemic has made life even harder for Denae. Her regular respite at school has been taken away, and all the effort she has put in for her studies feels wasted.

“It feels to Denae like another blow. She could really do with a win in her life right now.”

Even before the lockdown, Denae rarely saw her friends, and now she doesn’t leave the house at all – not even to shop for food or to exercise - for fear of bringing home the virus to her mum. Her mum is struggling with depression, and feels guilty for everything Denae has to do for her.

With your help, we want to give Danae a little sanctuary where she can study and rest. We’d also like to help buy her and her mum some of the things they need to make the rest of the flat feel more like a home. 

What We Need

1. Donations: Your donations will be used to buy Denae a new bed, some furniture, and some things to help her with her schoolwork. If we raise more than we need for those things, we will use the money to support her in other ways. 100% of what you give will be used to help her. To make a donation, please click the link below.

2. Gifts from a wishlist: We've set up an Amazon wishlist filled with things Denae needs. We've also added some things for her mum, as she could also really do with some kindness at the moment. To buy a gift from the wishlist, please click the link below. It will be sent directly to Denae and her mum.

3. Messages: To send a kind message for Denae or her mum, please write your message in the form below (your contact details will not be passed on) or you can post it to : 52 Lives (Life # 239), PO Box 3154, Reading, RG1 9AT. 

Buy a Gift


What We Did

Thanks to all of you, we raised more than we ever expected and managed not only to furnish Denae’s bedroom but also their entire flat. We also bought Denae a computer and everything else she needs for school, and sent her so many kind messages. It has made their life so much better and we are so grateful to all of you for making this possible.

Thank you to everyone who helped her, thank you Lynne for the beautiful handmade gifts, and thank you Gala Bingo for your incredible fundraising!