It’s given me some time just to be myself. At home I’ve always had to be quiet for my mum, so she can get some rest. For me, it’s just some time to be noisy and play, I can make as much noise as I like and just have fun.
Hope means a big family that's always there for you, no matter what. After coming to Hope, I feel that everyone’s around me, always trying to help and it just makes me feel like I’m never alone and that I’m just as important as everyone else in the world. It makes me feel equal to everybody, even though I’ve had a bad past I feel like I’ve got a positive future.
It gives young people in a family health crisis something to look forward to, because if you’re at home and everything is really depressing then it helps. Ice-skating, for example, that’s something that I had always wanted to do and knowing that I had that to do at the end of the month kept me going through that month rather than just staying at home stuck in that depressing situation.
When my mum was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Cancer, it was a massive shock to me and my family. School was becoming a pressure and I was breaking down in lessons and not being able to concentrate on anything. I spoke to my year support mentor and she referred me to Hope. Hope has been such a relief to have there for me. It takes everything off my mind. The people I have met through going on trips and going to youth club are truly inspirational. They are in similar situations too and I don't feel alone. Some of them have become my best friends, I don't know what I would do without them.
Hope is an excellent and much valued resource locally. Sue and the team have worked incredibly hard to get Hope off to such a flying start and we are very lucky in Ross-on-Wye to have the team on our doorstep. The sustainable nature of the project and involvement of young people from the outset provides a really exciting model for how services such as this will develop in the future.
Until Hope support started I was in complete denial of my mum's illness. Hope Support enabled me to move on and look to the future - that, at one point, I wasn't sure I could share with my mum. I am so grateful for how this team have helped me and I am so proud to be a part of it and give Hope to many others that have been through what I have.
As a young person living with a parent who has a terminal diagnosis, I’ve discovered a fairly considerable hole in the people-dying-support-system stuff. There is a lot of support out there for children with a close family member who is dying; there is a fair amount of support for spouses and for parents of people who are dying. But not really anything for those of us who are adults-but-not-really, i.e. those of us who are over 18, but still haven’t quite worked out what a mortgage is and see cereal as an appropriate dinner. Hope Support Services is a very small charity who aren’t well known but do some amazing work. Whether I’m going through a time where I use them a lot or not so much, knowing they’re there is a huge support.
I came across your charity by chance and felt it would help my little sister get through what was and still is a dark time in her life. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and has gone through chemo, radiotherapy and surgery. It is a testing time for everyone in the family but for my little sister (at 14) it hit her the hardest. She became detached from friends (who she felt didn't understand the ups and downs she was feeling emotionally), her teachers (she couldn't confide in) and family and became really withdrawn. I got her in contact with Hope and for the little time she has been coming to your groups and meets, she is beginning to open up and enjoy life again. Looking to the future with opportunities you have given her such as food hygiene courses etc. She has made new friends that she can open up to and it is like a weight has been lifted off her. There are still hard times to come but to know my little sister has somewhere to turn to when she feels she can't cope means the world and all I can say is thank you to you all xx
Sometimes, when I’ve had a bad day at school and mum’s too tired to be around the house, and it’s all getting me down a bit, it feels like I’m trapped at home. None of my mates live near me, and Facebooking them doesn’t really help much because it’s hard for them to really realise what’s going on at home, or they just don’t want to talk about it. People expect you to be happy and carefree when in reality sometimes it’s difficult to enjoy anything at all.
Talking to Suzie Hope is completely confidential, and using WeAre Hope makes you realise that even if you feel completely shut off with your own problems, there are others going through the same experience as you and are finding it just as hard – that you're not alone in what you're going through. It’s just a friendly, chatty way of letting people know how I am, and being able to share it with others who want to know, really makes a difference.
Being able to Skype Suzie Hope is also fantastic – it gives you that direct contact that sometimes you really need. So whether it's just sharing a silly joke with friends via WeAre Hope and letting people know what I get up to, or talking through serious problems with Suzie Hope.
In June 2014, my Mum was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Cancer. She only had one kidney left anyway, but the cancer spread to the main artery.
It was a massive shock to me and my family. We had already had a difficult year as just months before my Grandma had two strokes and we had to move over to live with her and look after her.
The operation planning started - mum’s kidney needed to be removed and all this new information about dialysis and special diets started piling up in my brain. School was becoming a pressure and I was breaking down in lessons and not being able to concentrate on anything. I spoke to my year support mentor and she referred me to Hope.
Hope has been such a relief to have there for me. It takes everything off my mind. The people I have met through Hope are truly inspirational. They are in similar situations too and I don't feel alone. Some of them have become my best friends, I don't know what I would do without them.
It is good to know you can talk to people who are going through a similar situation to you, knowing you can talk to them without the fear that they won't understand how you are feeling. And it is always such a laugh! Everyone gets on with each other and there is never any bad feelings between anyone.