Bullied, lonely, unhappy. This was life for Frankie before she met Kate, her TLG Early Intervention coach.
School was tough, she was bullied because of her height and her confidence was repeatedly knocked. She struggled to make friends, spent most of her time at home and would wander the playground on her own at breaktimes.
When Frankie first met with Kate, she wasn’t even sure if she could trust her and had no idea what to expect.
That soon changed.
Frankie loves being creative so Kate regularly brought in crafts to make during the coaching sessions. Frankie’s favourite was a dragonfly, but she also remembers making paper aeroplanes and one accidentally ending up on the school roof!
As well as making crafts and playing countless games of Uno, Kate used the coaching sessions to listen to Frankie, encourage her and engage in activities that helped Frankie express her feelings, build her confidence and think about friendship.
Thanks to the support of Kate, Frankie has, in her own words, gone from “extremely sad to happy.” She now enjoys school, has successfully transitioned to secondary school and loves spending time with the friends she has made. She is confident in trying new things, including her recently discovered talent for archery.
Frankie’s mum, Sky, has also seen the transformation in her daughter. She has noticed how Frankie is visibly more confident and happier and, as Sky commented: “She’s hit the ground running” since her coaching.
Both Frankie and Sky were invited onto a Family Faith Adventure Weekend, Frankie’s first proper holiday. Sky loved the opportunity to take Frankie away from school, home and her many gadgets for some quality time together. They enjoyed lots of activities – especially the creative ones of course - and Sky still has the glass candle Frankie made there.
The biggest memory Sky, Frankie and Kate all recall from the weekend was the moment Frankie conquered the huge zip wire to loud applause, after building up the confidence for over half an hour first. What may have looked like just a zip wire showed Frankie that she can do anything she puts her mind to and can face her fears and conquer them.
Even though her coaching year has finished, Kate is still on hand for Frankie and Sky should they need her, something which they really appreciate.
Frankie now knows she has a hope and a future. She is keen to learn more Spanish and is continuing to develop her skills at archery and her natural flair for creativity. Kate, who saw the change first hand, said: “I’m certainly seeing a different Frankie to the one I saw a year ago, a very different Frankie, much more confident.”
Kate is a TLG Early Intervention coach at King’s Church in Hastings. Hastings, a seaside town in East Sussex, is perhaps most well-known for the infamous battle between William the Conqueror and Harold II in 1066. In more recent times, Hastings was in the top 15 most deprived council areas in the 2019 indices of multiple deprivation.
King’s Church, like TLG’s other partner churches, decided to reach out into the local community in Hastings and stand with families and children in the community. Thanks to the work of Kate and King’s Church, children like Frankie are having their lives transformed by volunteers walking alongside them and meeting them where they are.
Find out more about how your church can get involved with TLG Early Intervention here