Mum Abby gets the best Christmas present she could ever wish for

Abby and Shared Lives South West Carer Mel at Christmas

There’s no doubt about it, 2020 has been a challenge and a tough year, but Mum Abby has the best Christmas wish she could ever hope for.

Abby, who uses our services and lives with SLSW Carer Melanie Thomas in Cornwall, has seen

the child protection order imposed when her daughter Isabella was born removed.

Such orders are put into place when the local authority has concerns about a child’s safety and wellbeing.

Abby has constantly proved she can be 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 Tuesdays 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!”

Hard year

Abby has said there’s no getting away from it being a hard year. She said it’s been difficult at times for them to see Martin, Isabella’s Dad as much as they’d like due to Covid-19 rules.

“We can’t go and see him now because of the lockdown again and we are just sticking to the rules,” she said.

“It’s not been a nice this year with all the restrictions.”

“It’s been a rollercoaster, hasn’t it Abby,” added Mel.

Weight loss

During the last year, Aby has also been working hard on losing weight and joined Slimming World.

She has now lost almost 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 and 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 would like to volunteer or work now 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.”


Christmas is around the corner and the whole family is looking forward to it.

“We are Christmas people and love it,” said Mel.

“I hope to be able to go to Martin’s for Christmas Day and New Year but will also celebrate with Mel.”

“We will do Christmas here before Abby goes to see Martin and do another celebration for New Year too. It’s important to mark it together and we love to celebrate in any way we can.”

*Please note this interview was conducted during Lockdown 2.

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