Two Children's Storiesby Brian Eccleshall 3rd April 2022
Sole Story 1: Crystal, Aged 9
9-year-old Crystal lost her dad 14 months ago to cancer and we received a referral from her teacher requesting shoe support as she walked to school with shoes that were ill fitting and worn out. Her feet were often blistered, through soaking wet socks and very painful, and when it rained Crystal would often not come to school as her shoes were so worn out. Crystal 's teacher Mrs. Clarke told us that it broke her heart to see her suffering and how it impacted Crystal ’s little life as she would often just sit on the no friends' bench at school. This was due to her feet hurting so much and she didn’t want her friends to know how she felt and was worried about upsetting her mum who was struggling to come to terms losing her husband and Crystal’s dad. Life & Sole were able to provide 4 pairs of preloved shoes, trainer and wellies and even give mum a new pair of boots and trainers. We also signposted mum to get ongoing support and advice with dental and legal support as well as speaking to her doctor to access bereavement counselling that has profoundly changed Crystal ’s life. “Thank you Networkfour As the difference you have made with these shoes to little Crystal ’s life is wonderful. She comes to school now with a smile beaming upon her face every day and to see her giggle and share in a game of tag or chase in the playground brings tears to my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart it is a beautiful thing you do” Mrs. Clarke
Sole Story 2: Niall, Aged 14
Niall was introduced to us through his teacher at **** Academy. When we first met him, he was very depressed, quiet and was very unkempt. Networkfour’s Life & Sole project has started to support Niall, exchange his broken shoes for new school shoes and surprise him with a pair of brand-new trainers! We have also paired him up with one of our volunteer mentors to support and be there for him as he copes with the grief he is facing and the issues he is facing whilst in care. We have not only given Niall new shoes, but we have also been able to give him hope and ongoing support.