When we started working with Cassie she had a history of self-harming, severe anxiety brought about by bullying at school and was withdrawn. Cassie also exhibited some risky behaviours through a lack of knowledge about what positive relationships look like.

She had experimented with sexual relationships that she wasn’t ready to engage in and felt ill-equipped to handle. Cassie also had strained relationships with her family and an often-chaotic home-life, which further led to her being withdrawn. 

“I was really nervous to meet with Tallulah, my Youth Worker at the start. I don’t like meeting new people and I get really anxious when I have to go anywhere or meet anyone new, but Tallulah really made me feel comfortable. 

At first, I didn’t want to tell her about me or what I had been doing (self-harm) as I thought she might judge me. I also don’t trust many people because of some of the experiences I’ve had at home, in school and with friends so it was really difficult to open up to her at the start. Tallulah was patient with me though and I never felt judged. After a while I started to open up more and Tallulah got me to go along to this Girls Group where I made some new friends who I found I could be myself with. They also didn’t pressure me so I felt I could talk to them.  

It was really nice to have a new group of friends and I found myself telling them things I wouldn’t normally tell my mum or my school mates. I decided to tell them I’d recently done a pregnancy test and that I was scared. It turned out I wasn’t pregnant, and Tallulah was able to talk me through what to do in a way that made me feel supported. 

She took me along to a sexual health clinic where I got the information I wanted and access to condoms, and I got the contraceptive implant as well. It was embarrassing as my mum was with me, but Tallulah helped me see that what I was doing was responsible. 

Looking back, I’d do things differently with my previous relationships, but I feel much better about myself now and I’m not scared anymore about being pregnant. I also have new friends which is really nice, and I am so much happier about everything. Also, because of our sessions I was able to share my experiences with my new friends from the Girls Group and, give them advice on consent.

I even told them where they can go if they ever find themselves in my situation, including a consent tea video and websites they might find helpful. Things aren’t perfect at home or at school, but I now feel like I can cope better because I have help.” 

Cassie’s mum said: 

“Tallulah has been a life-line for us. I was so scared for Cassie. I was constantly worried about what was going on and what she was getting herself into. She didn’t confide in me or tell me about what was bothering her. She was quiet and depressed and I didn’t know how to get through to her and help. Now I have a different daughter who is happy again and even though we still have a long way to go, we have started talking about things again. I’m also much happier now I know she is being careful and taking care of her sexual health.” 

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