"Action for Children saved my life"

Posted by / Tuesday 21 February 2017 / Families
Jackie Gleed

“I didn’t trust anybody at all and I was very isolated and wouldn’t go out anywhere due to anxiety.  It was a really tough time.”

Jackie had been struggling with her mental health for years before she came to Action for Children. With whole-family therapeutic support, she started to recover and felt able to look after her children again. Now, she volunteers as a counsellor with the very service which supported her.

“The therapy was great and I gradually started going out and I got my life back.  I’d be dead without Action for Children.  Caerphilly FIT saved my life and that’s being dramatic because that’s how I felt.  I couldn’t have gone on anymore.”

“That was when I started working with a psychotherapist alongside the family sessions that were being provided by the family support practitioner.”

“Working with the whole family was just what was needed because obviously as mum and not being great, it affected how I was with my children, how they were with me and it fed on that.”

The therapy had such a profound impact on Jackie’s life that she decided to start volunteering with the Caerphilly mindfulness team. She also took therapeutic courses and thoughts soon turned to how she could use her experience to benefit others. She is now a qualified counsellor and volunteer parent therapist at Caerphilly FIT.

“I work alongside one of the systemic psychotherapists with FIT’s wellbeing group. It’s a very powerful element for people to be part of a group that have all got different stories but all inter-connect.  A lot of themes come up with the group about how they feel about themselves and it’s a safe place for them to be able to talk and reflect on how far they’ve come.”

On Wednesday, Jackie is going to meet The Duchess of Cambridge and tell her how she turned her life around with the support of Action for Children.

“I’m very honoured to be meeting The Duchess of Cambridge and I shall be telling her my story as the depths to which this team will go is a hugely important message to get across.  I’m delighted I’m able to give something back to Action for Children because I owe them a lot."

"I feel very valued and appreciated here and they need support for the brilliant work they do."

Jackie Gleed - Action for Children volunteer

Elaine Simpson, children services manager at Caerphilly FIT said:  "Jackie is an inspirational woman who has been on an incredible journey with us for over ten years.  I’m thrilled she’s meeting The Duchess as her story perfectly underlines the depth and range of work we do with families in Caerphilly. It will be a wonderful moment for us all when she meets Her Royal Highness.”