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TESTIMONY :: Hear from Cliff and Denise Oakley about Safe Families for Children

Cliff and Denise are committed Christians with two grown up children. Their Worship Community is St Paul's, Goose Green and have been volunteering with Safe Families for Children since January. "We first heard of Safe Families for Children through our church notice sheet and since completing the training process we have been involved with one child, a girl of eight. The first time we met we were probably as uncertain as she was but after a few hours we were soon reminded of the fun and energy waiting to get out of an eight year old. At times it can feel like we have had a workout… which is no bad thing! We think our little girl was a perfect start, and a good match for us."

Safe Families for Children is a charity working churches and children’s services across the UK to link struggling families with a network of local volunteers who offer them community support. Seeking to stabilise the family in times of crisis, prevent child neglect and abuse and reduce flow of children into care, Safe Families supports vulnerable children and their parents/carers who are suffering from isolation, disability, ill health, bullying, or other issues.

By providing respite care every couple of weeks, Cliff and Denise are enabling mum to spend time with their eldest daughter who has additional needs, as well as addressing her own health conditions.

"The last few visits she has shown genuine affection towards us and we know she has enjoyed herself more as we have got to know each other. Last week we went to a country park with our dog and as she was playing with the dog, she slipped and fell into a stream! She played with the dog in the water up to her waist and seemed to love it, and we had extra clothes in the car so didn't mind either. Next week we’re planning to go blackberry picking to make fresh jam to take home for the family. If we can help a child to see life from a different perspective and know that we have had a positive impact then we know it’s worth it!"

Please join us in transforming families’ lives in Wigan! To find out more about volunteering visit: www.safefamiliesforchildren.com/join-us

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