Abby is celebrating after receiving a prize at the Shared Lives Plus national awards.
Abby was Highly Commended in the Human Rights Award for Free Expression category after being nominated by her SLSW Carer, SLC, other SLSW Carers aswell as people who use SLSW services.
Since moving in with her SLSW Carer Mel Thomas in Cornwall, Abby’s life has transformed and she was thrilled to see her efforts have been recognised.
“I’m thrilled, I can’t believe it,” said Abby, after receiving the accolade.
“I’m so proud of Abby, she has come so far and this is testament to all of her own hard work,” added Mel.
In recent times, Abby has celebrated the news that the child protection order imposed, when her daughter Isabella was born, was removed.
Such orders are put into place when the local authority has concerns about a child’s safety and wellbeing.
Abby constantly proved she is a great mum to Isabella and now the order has lifted.
“It feels amazing and I feel so proud of myself. I love being a mum,” said Abby.
Since Isabella was born, Abby has stepped up to the challenge of being a mum and put her daughter’s needs first.
“I go out with Isabella in the afternoons, we play with her toys; she’s loving her baby doll and nursing her. We also love drawing, colouring and
painting together,” said Abby.
“Isabella’s bedtime routine is good and the healthy food that Isabella has is great. It’s also important to sit down and eat with her at the table while she is in her highchair.”
“She’s also now in a local nursery on Tuesday and Thursday and it’s really nice for her and really important for her.”
“She certainly isn’t a baby any more and is into everything, the biggest challenge is keeping up with her!
“Isabella is reaching all her milestones.”
During the last year, Abby has also been working hard on losing weight and joined Slimming World. She has now lost five stone thanks to her own self-belief and encouragement from Mel. The weight loss helped her win Slimmer of the Year at her local group.
“I eat healthier, I prepare more food and walk more,” said Abby.
“I look at old photos of me and think ‘wow I’ve done well’.”
“I was awarded Slimmer of the Year and got a certificate. I cried as it meant a lot to me.”
“My food choices will also have an impact on Isabella so I want her to see me eating healthily.
I do my own breakfast and lunch and Mel does the tea.”
“It’s a team effort really, Abby helps me prepare it and we work together,” added Mel.
As a support arm for Abby, Mel has seen Abby’s confidence grow hugely in the last year.
“It’s wonderful to see Abby not only grow as a mum, but her personal growth too,” said Mel.
“She will now stand up for herself and say how she feels which is important. She is also looking to the future and is now volunteering in a charity shop and Isabella is at nursery more.”
“Abby is part of our family and we embrace life together. Even my son recently said to me it would be weird without having Abby with us as she is one of us.”