Luke is a 5-year-old boy whose Mam has addiction issues and she struggles with anxiety and depression. This affected her ability to look after Luke so it was safer for him to live with his Nana, which is where he has been living for the last 10 months.
Luke had to move away from his home and change school, which was very hard for him. He felt lonely and sad after moving to a new area and he struggled to settle into his new school and to make new friends. Then his new school closed due to Covid-19 which meant that Luke struggled even more.
Luke’s Nana got in touch with his Barnardos project worker, Joan. She was concerned about how quiet and withdrawn he had become, he had lost interest in chatting or even playing with his toys. She too was struggling. During lockdown, she felt isolated. She was nervous about going out to the supermarket for shopping, as she did not want to expose herself or Luke to coronavirus.
Joan spoke to Nana about the importance of routine for Luke to help him feel more secure. She suggested that Nana do up a chart in the kitchen so that he knows what will be happening each day – meals, school work, arts and crafts and something fun like game time or a family movie. Joan also put the local Community Gardai in contact with Nana, who kindly stepped in and collected Nana’s shopping and medication, delivering them safely to her door.
Joan also suggested that Nana could help Luke feel more part of daily family life in his new home by letting him help with small chores. Nana said how much Luke loved helping her stir the cake mix when she was baking and helping her keep the garden tidy. Nana got some helpful advice from Joan on how she could allow Luke space and time to chat about his thoughts and feelings on all the changes that had happened.
Even though Joan cannot visit Luke and his Nana in person right now, she has continued to offer support and advice to them over the phone, helping Luke and his Nana through these difficult times. Nana said,
I come off the phone with Joan and I say to myself, I feel a lot better now!
Luke and Nana both know Barnardos are just a phone call away, whenever they need us.