A journey starts with a step in from the rain…

As part of our Give Hope for Christmas campaign, we share the story of one teenager taking the first steps in a new story.

We all know it can be hard taking the first step on a new journey. Harder still when you have faced difficult experiences on similar journeys or when you are dealing with the weight of mental health challenges.

Waiting in the rain with her daughter, Mum Alice had hope today would be the first step for her daughter towards a new opportunity for support. At fifteen, Mia had been diagnosed with ADHD and was awaiting a further diagnosis for autism, alongside this she was experiencing mental health challenges.

It was the first time they had ventured to Masquer-Aid, a support group run by Children North East for neurodiverse young people to share experiences, learn, laugh and get help with their mental health; and they were struggling to find the venue.

“Nina kindly met us in the rain and introduced herself and the Masquer-Aid service.”

The three of them came in from the rain, into a safe space with sky blue walls and warm faces.

Mia had been reluctant to attend, after finding similar professionals didn’t “understand her”, cancelling the previous appointment.

“Nina was very understanding of this and gave me more time to encourage Mia to give Masquer-Aid a chance. I really appreciated her patience.”

“The way Nina spoke with Mia, understood her needs and issues and made her feel at ease. Mia opened up to Nina in a way she hasn’t done for any other professional.”

After the session, Alice shared that she had hope it was the start of something that will make a difference for her daughter.

“Mia was equally impressed as I was yesterday by Nina and what she had to offer in terms of support and understanding.

“Mia really felt like you were on her level, and you actually understood her and she never feels like that, ever.”

Sometimes the first step on a new journey can be hard, but the Children North East are here to offer our support; whatever the weather.

Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.