This blog is part of TheSprout’s This blog is part of TheSprout’s Supporting Young Cardiffians campaign. It tells the story of Alex and Gavin, two brothers who accessed support from the Family Help Team, part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support service.
Why did you contact the Cardiff Family Gateway?
Before getting support, the two boys contacted the Cardiff Family Gateway to see what help was available.
Gavin who is 14 said that they got in touch with CFAS because “I needed help with my ASD. I wanted to fit in and not feel that I stood out. I was being bullied in school, but this has stopped now.”
11-year-old Alex (Gavin’s little brother) said “I needed help in general as I felt I wasn’t a good person. Before you came along, Gavin and I would steal food and go on our Chromebook when we were not allowed. We would do things that Mum didn’t want us to do. I was also a little bit anxious about going up to high school but have made lots of new friends.”
Once they explained their situation, they were referred to the Cardiff Family Help team to get support.
What support did you receive?
Alex said that the Cardiff Family Help team “were amazing at helping us. We used to argue, but now this has reduced a lot.” And how did that happen, you might ask?
“We used LEGO to help calm us down. It was a form of therapy to help us communicate better as a family”, explained Gavin. Alex added that they “used cards to help discuss what is important to us as a family and helped us to understand each other better.”
How has the support provided by CFAS helped you and your family?
Alex admitted that “the support has helped me to become a better person and improve my behaviour. I feel better about myself and more confident in what I can now do. It also improved my love for Mum.”
Gavin echoed this and added that accessing support from CFAS “has been amazing. It has helped us work better as a family. The guidance, advice and mentoring that they offered has really helped with this.”
What advice would you give to a young person going through similar challenges?
Alex said, “I would encourage other young people to go to CFAS to have someone to listen to them that is not from their school or family. Some of my teachers weren’t listening to me but I felt like CFAS did.” He continued “it is a trustworthy service. I didn’t realise how much I wanted to change as a person, and they helped me to realise this and what I needed to do to make changes.”
Gavin also said he would “advise them to come to CFAS. I was a bit nervous about meeting with them initially but soon felt happy to meet. If you aren’t sure what help you need, you should just give it a try.” He also said that “speaking with my family helped, too.”
This is a true story from a young person who accessed help from Cardiff Family Advice and Support service. To respect the privacy of the young people who shared their stories with us, we have changed their names to keep them anonymous. To read more stories about how CFAS has helped young people and their families, click here.