Quite rightly funders ask questions about impact and effectiveness; the benefit to people being supported and the value for money of what’s on offer! Using a bespoke database, all manner of questionnaires and assessment tools, and not forgetting our financial monitoring, we are in a good place to give a response. However, sometimes this can seem clinical and miss the human story ......and here is one from 25 years ago! Right at the start of what began Splitz Support Service
An email received by Fran Lewis dated 27 October 2014:
How pleased I was to receive a call at work this week...
A voice I certainly recognised but could not place until it suddenly came back to me... I had to ask if it was the same lady!!! Is that FRAN who used to help out families/women with children who were struggling?? Yes it is was the reply....Wow>
You will never understand what your help did for me.....25yrs ago I was a battered wife with 3 very young children, to say life was difficult is an understatement.
I can not remember how or who put me in contact with Fran but a phone call to explain my situation resulted in her turning up at my door. She was almost the mum I did not have around at the time..she talked but didn't lecture, put the kettle on and made the brew, played with the kids on the floor whilst dishing out practical advice about benefits, solicitors and what to do next>
When she left that day I could see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel...her parting shot..."I will be back on Thurs at 2" and she was..
that was the nicest thing about her... she did what she promised. On the Thurs she arrived told the kids to get their coats and shoes on...told me to run a bath and relax for a couple of hours or make the phone calls I needed to. She loaded the kids into her car and took them off to the park ...something I was too afraid to do in case I bumped into their dad. I was terrified she wouldn't bring my kids back!! But true to her word they returned when she said...smiling, tired and rosy cheeked. Fran did this for a few weeks while I went through court cases for injunctions, saw solicitors and started to see more light from that tunnel working it's way back into my life.
I remember her telling me she had to stop visiting now as she had limits to her time and funding....I was devastated but knew I was back on track.
I did cope and built a life for me and my kids..I won't say life was fabulous but we survived...My children are now 30, 29 and 25..one runs his own business, another is in the regular Army and my daughter is working in the care sector...I have 8 grandchildren and am very happy.
I often see newspaper reports about Splitz and Fran and it always reminded me of what she did for me, but I am ashamed to admit life took over and I never really did say THANK YOU. You really did make a difference and for that I am grateful.