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   Sharon - Volunteer Case Study

Hello, I am Sharon and I am a Mentor/Befriender for En-Fold. I have 2 sons aged 18 & 20 who have ADHD and ASD. They are my absolute world and I love them more than anything but I can honestly say that the last 20 years have been the hardest of my life.

As young boys they had complex needs and challenging behaviour. One of them didn't sleep through the night until he was 9 years old.  Life was a constant rollercoaster of filling out forms, completely questionnaires, attending meetings with Paediatricians, Child Psychologists, Speech & Language Therapists, school staff and a constant battle to get the right support for them - and us as a family.

Unfortunately, my Husband and I had limited help and support from our families because they were not confident in dealing with the boy’s complex needs and challenging behaviour.  We were pretty much on our own and I found it all very isolating. I would often sit and cry and tell my Husband that I couldn't do it anymore.

However, 20 years on and life is very different. My boys have grown into 2 amazing young men who I am incredibly proud of. But it's certainly been a battle.

When I heard that Diane was setting up En-fold, I wanted to be involved and help support other families.  I wanted to be that listening ear that I so desperately needed 20 years ago. If I had been able to access a service like Enfold when my boys were little it would have been invaluable.  I would not have felt so alone and isolated and it would have helped enormously to have someone to talk to, someone who had lived through similar experiences and could relate to and understand what I was feeling.

I am very proud to be associated with En-Fold and thoroughly enjoy working with the families I am matched to.