by all of the response to my post. Guys, you’re incredible. So far, from what I can tell, it’s 72,000 posts, and over £300 raised. Please keep donating if you can to the Trussel Trust – it means so much to them. Isaac’s response today was “all na sad children have treats? I so happy!”
I have heard the most incredible stories over the last few days, and I am so honoured that they’ve been shared with me. On the day where David Cameron’s constituency office responded to a planned and peaceful delivery of a petition on foodbanks by refusing to even allow the Bishop of Oxford entrance to his office, you guys have shown me what real humanity is all about. Bloody mind boggling.
I wanted to share this story in particular, because it touched my heart. I was a young carer for so many years, and I know how much hard work it is. And in some ways, even harder for the parent who has to rely on their child for help. So, here, with permission, is Aimee’s story. Thank you so much, Aimee and Becky, for being willing to share it.
“Hi, I’m Aimee. I’m a single mum with a 12 year old daughter, Becky. I also have Muscular dystrophy, which is progressing, and gradually affecting more and more of my muscles. This means that Becky, as well as my daughter, is my carer.
It’s a really hard position, being a young carer. It’s also hard for me as her parent. I constantly feel like a failure as a mum, as Becky has to do so much for me. And yet she does it smilingly, and willingly. Yes, we have the usual mother and daughter fights, but I wouldn’t change her for the world.
About a year ago, we got into a really difficult financial situation. It’s a long story, but basically, a benefits problem led to us getting into debt,and money was incredibly tight. One morning, Becky reached up to the cupboard to get some cereal. She told me, “mum, I think we need to go shopping soon!”
I couldn’t tell her that we couldn’t do that. We had no money, and there was very little food in the house. At that point, I wanted to kill myself. I felt like a total disaster of a human being.
I ended up on the phone to a friend, who suggested visiting the CAB. Whilst we were there, they mentioned food banks. I felt mortified. But I couldn’t let pride get in the way of provision for my daughter. So I took the voucher to our local foodbank.
They were incredible. They made me feel valuable as a human being again. As well as the food they provided, they gave us links to vital sources of support, and most importantly, they just listened. I honestly think they gave me my life back that afternoon. I will never stop being grateful.
People who use foodbanks aren’t doing it for fun. I wish you could meet my beautiful caring daughter, who gives so much of her time and enthusiasm for other people, keeps up at school, and still finds the time to help her mum. We’re not bad people. We’re just people who need support this time. Maybe, next time, it will be you.”
This, guys. This is why we share and we lobby and we donate and we tell the likes of the Mail that we aren’t going to take it any more. These are our brothers and sisters struggling here. Christian or not (and thank you so much especially to the people who aren’t who’ve taken the time to encourage me – that means so much!) – we’re all humans. And that’s what this is all about. Recognising the human – and for those of us who believe in it – the divine, in others.