Impact of Covid-19 on Michael and his Mam

Michael is a 14 year old boy who lives with his mother in the countryside.

Posted on Monday 01 February 2021 in Case Studies

Impact of Covid-19 on Michael and his Mam

Michael is a 14 year old boy who lives with his mother in the countryside. Usually he would see his father who lives in the UK at least once a year, and he and his Mam also rely a lot on Granny for her support. Unfortunately Granny is old and vulnerable and lives 20 km away. Since the pandemic started Michael or his Mam haven’t been able to have much contact with her for fear of covid-19 and Michael hasn’t seen his Dad in a long time.

When school ended abruptly and afterschool activities came to a halt Michael felt very shook with the changes to his routine. He had already been struggling in school and now, without having to be physically there, he started staying in bed for long periods during the day and spending a lot of time in his room. Michael and his Mam live in a rural setting and he had no friends within 5k so has been spending a lot of time over the last 12 months without seeing any friends. His Mam also lost her job so the two of them were spending a lot of time together in the house.

The pressure was too much for both of them. They argued a lot and Mam became very stressed trying to engage and motivate Michael to do his schoolwork. She felt very alone and struggled daily. Michael’s Dad got in touch with him and, given the bad breakup with his Mam, would say bad things about his Mam and caused a lot of confusion for Michael and made him even angrier with her.

With a lack of close friends around and no adult role model in his life, Michael became involved with a someone who introduced him to weed and he started selling drugs. At 14 years of age and suffering increased anger issues, Michael didn’t return to school until November. Things started to settle down a bit in Michael and his Mam’s life, but then the schools closed again. Michaels mental health has deteriorated over the last few months, as has his relationship with his Mam and he is totally socially isolated.

Barnardos has worked with Michael and his Mam to provide practical supports such as food, vouchers and care packs including clothing. Barnardos is working with Mam to get the supports put in place for her and her son to help them overcome this challenging time. Parenting alone, and the financial impact have taken their toll on Mam. Barnardos is helping her put the supports in place for her and her son and is working actively with them both to help them come through this challenging time.

Sadly, stories like this are common. Similar situations are replicated around the country as people try to overcome the pressures of living through the pandemic in challenging environments. But Barnardos is here to help.