This week, 52 Lives would like to help a family from Edinburgh – Lisa, and her 2 daughters, 6 year old Beth and 4 year old Kayla.
Lisa has had a tough life. She was in care when she was younger and later became homeless. She has felt very alone for most of her life.
When she was 20, Lisa met someone, fell in love, and had her two children. But her partner turned out to be violent. He beat and raped her when she was pregnant with Kayla, which was the last straw. So she took the children and left.
Lisa has moved on and is trying to make the best life she can for her and her girls. She has a new partner, who is kind and lovely to her. And she is doing her best to get back on her feet financially. But she has very little money and is in some debt (largely the result of her ex-partner). But she has a case worker who is working closely with her to help her manage her finances and pay off her debt.
Lisa is very down on herself at the moment. She hated being in care herself, but admitted to me that sometimes, in weaker moments, she feels like her children would have a better life with someone else. She feels so guilty that she can't provide for them.
When I asked Lisa what would be of most help to them, she said in her whole life she can't remember ever having a good Christmas. Which may be one of the saddest things I've ever heard!
With your help, we would like to make this Christmas an extra special one for Lisa and her girls.
What We Did
1. Christmas presents – Lisa’s Amazon wishlist was sold out within hours. It was replenished and sold out three or four times over. So Lisa and her girls were showered in gifts, things for their home and gift cards. We also received lots of presents and cards by post. Thanks so much to everyone who bought a gift or sent a card. It meant the world to them.
2. More than £200 in gift cards - to help with food and gifts. A special thanks to Terry Harrison from Australia for his lovely note and generosity.
3. Christmas Dinner – We arranged for the family to have a fancy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings from Marks & Spencers, thanks to the lovely Richard Harwood.
4. A special visit to Santa’s Grotto – Stephanie and the team at Indigo Project Solutions arranged for Lisa and her daughters to have tickets to Santa’s Grotto, courtesy of Underbelly. They have also arranged a £50 John Lewis voucher for the family
5. Beauty Treatments for Lisa – thanks to Julie Hussain from Sugar Me Beauty Salon (http://sugarm9.wix.com/sugarme#!), Lisa was pampered for the first time in her life.
6. Hair treatments for Lisa – thanks to Jenna Campbell and Escape Hairdressing for making this kind offer.
7. Flowers for Lisa – thanks to Micheal Kivlin-Williams of Charmed Floristree. Lisa said she had never has flowers in her life, so this was an extra special treat for her.
8. Personalised Christmas Stockings – a big thank you to Rachelle Wilde, who made two beautiful stockings for the girls.