Colette was supporting a client who was using drugs and alcohol. Her dad had been an alcoholic and her mum left the family when she was very young. She also had a brother who was using drugs.
After her dad died she took over the tenancy of what had been the family home for 30 years. It had never been decorated or had a repair in that time so was in a bit of a state.
Colette visited the client on a weekly basis. She has a lot of issues to deal with so Colette broke them down in to small chunks and dealt with them based on the clients need.
Colette supported her to attend appointments both medical and social, she would meet her at the hospital or at case conferences. When they were at core group meetings the client and her partner would get upset when everyone was talking about their case. They were at risk of Social Services removing the baby at birth.
Colette worked hard to get the housing to fix the repairs such as, fitting a new kitchen, installing a new boiler and getting the steps at the front of the house repaired.
Once the repairs had been done the couple started to redecorate and this is when Colette started to see a change taking place. The client’s partner went into rehab and she stopped using drugs and alcohol. They have kept their baby and would not have achieved this without Colette’s help.
I have worked at Gateway for nearly five years. During that time I have worked on all the services including the Pregnancy Outreach Worker Service.
I remember a number of clients who it turned out had been trafficked into this country to be used as prostitutes. Two people in particular stand out in my mind. One was a young girl who had been trafficked from Africa. She was only 19 years old when we met her. She had left her country when she was 14 years old. Once she reached England she was forced to sleep with men every day. The men never used condoms and when she fell pregnant she found out she was HIV+. It was a really difficult time for her. It was a lot to get her head around.
This young woman had a Pregnancy Outreach Worker who was also African. She didn’t come from the same country but there was some common ground. They worked together and the young woman was given a flat to live in, the Pregnancy Outreach Worker carried on supporting her throughout her pregnancy and after the birth of her child.
Fortunately the baby was not HIV+ and mum and baby have gone on to live a happier life.
The other young woman was from China. She was a young teenager. When she got pregnant she was left at a Social Services office by the woman who was handling her. Because she was pregnant she was no longer any use to the sex traffickers.
She had been trafficked by Chinese mafia. She would not disclose anything about them or how she came to the country because she was concerned about her Grandmother who she had left behind. She was so worried about her Grandmother that she kept in touch with her traffickers by mobile and returned to them after the baby was born. That was the last we heard of her.