Ana's Story: "I've been at Birthright for three years but this year I really needed them"

Ana was battling a number of issues as a sole parent, when she enrolled with Birthright Canterbury in 2015. She credits her social worker and the rest of the Birthright team with helping her get through them and showing her a brighter future.

Having struggled with depression, it is important for Ana to keep busy and stay positive. Her first Birthright worker, helped her with this. Ana told her field worker that she really needed a rest and for someone to take care of her nine-year-old son, for a short time. Ana was not in regular contact with her family and struggled to find a babysitter. By the time she talked to her field worker, she hadn’t had any time to herself for 12 months. Her field worker referred Ana to Cholmondeley Children’s Centre where her son now stays regularly and always looks forward to the next visit. This allows Ana to have time to relax and stay mentally well.

 Ana has also found attending Birthright’s parent groups ‘really encouraging’. Participating in Zumba, making sushi and going fruit picking are just a few of the activities from which Ana has been able to build friendships. She keeps in touch with many of the women she has met and makes the effort to see them outside of Birthright activities.

 “With Birthright, you get more than a social worker, you get a full support system”.

 However, at the beginning of 2018 Ana hit a rough patch and found herself struggling with her mental health. Her current social worker, immediately noticed something was wrong and ask Ana if she needed help.

 “My social worker doesn’t tell you what to do. She guides you and asks the right questions to help you make your own decisions”.

 Her social worker set Ana up with the Kingdom Resources’ course ‘Taking the First Step’ which is a confidence building, pre-employment course for women. Ana now plans to enrol in Ara’s Health and Wellbeing certificate.

 “I wanted to have my head in the right space, but my social worker told me it’s time to put myself first so that’s why I’m doing this now. Sometimes I have ideas in my head and I just need someone else to voice them and encourage me to take action”.

 Because of her experience with Birthright, Ana now wants a career in social work herself. She feels confident telling people what she has learnt from Birthright and has even passed on the organisation’s number on to other mothers.   

 “I’m like a Birthright advocate now”.