Lynne is married to Sean, who sustained a level T12 spinal cord injury 7 months ago. She approached Back Up for a family mentor soon after Sean was injured. Here she describes how mentoring supported her through a challenging time and how it also had a positive effect on Sean and their children:
"When Sean was first injured I had a great support network around me, but there was no one I could speak to who had actually ‘been there’. I found out about Back Up’s family mentoring service and I was put in touch with Ulviyya, a trained family mentor, whose husband Colin sustained a spinal cord injury three years ago. I spoke to Ulviyya on the phone once a week when all the children were in bed and I had some time and space to chat honestly.
After speaking to Ulviyya, I felt so much more prepared for when Sean was discharged from hospital. I was managing all the adaptations to our house, trying to get the important things finished in time for Sean coming home for Christmas. Ulviyya gave me so much practical advice about wet rooms, lifts and aids. She also helped me feel ready for what to expect emotionally when Sean came home and how things might affect the children.
Being guided by Ulviyya definitely had a positive knock on effect on the rest of the family. I felt better able to support them through the huge changes that were happening in our lives.
It was also through Ulviyya that I found out about Colin’s involvement with Back Up and their courses. This inspired Sean to apply for a Back Up multi activity course in the Lake District this summer where he will hopefully benefit from peer support himself too.
I’ve got so much out of mentoring and I would definitely recommend it to other family members who’d like some more support in adjusting to a new chapter in their lives."
Would you like a partner mentor? Contact Polly on 020 8875 1805 or send her an email.