Better Prepared | Tracie’s story
Better Prepared will ensure Scouting is there for those that need it most; helping to prepare more young people throughout the UK for a brighter future. Tracie talks about how Scouts changed hers and her son’s life...
‘When my son, Sonny, first joined Scouts, he was very shy; he wouldn’t talk or communicate with people, he wouldn’t look at you in the face and he wouldn’t leave my side. He only wanted to be with me. That’s because of his autism – his self-esteem was very low.
‘It took him about three months but now you wouldn’t recognise him. Saying that, he’s not like that at school, or over at the farm where my husband has worked for years. He’s only like that at Cubs. To see him open up like that; sometimes I get really emotional about it. Now, he’s doing things he previously would have never tried, let alone achieved. I would have never expected him to climb up a mountain, but he’s done it. I would have never expected him to stand and have a conversation with somebody, but he’s done it.
‘I would encourage anybody with a child with additional needs to get into Scouting. He feels so at ease there, and they’ve made him feel at ease because they treat him the same as everybody else.
‘My life revolved around just looking after Sonny at the time, so when he joined Cubs, I started volunteering and I became a leader. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done because I’m doing it for me, not just because Sonny’s there and my daughter is there. And I love every minute of it, absolutely every minute of it. It’s given me a new lease of life. I feel like I’m a person in my own right now. Not just Sonny’s Mum.
‘At the moment we’re turning children away because we haven’t got the places to put them. It’s sad, because out of all the activities that you can do, Scouting is one of the cheapest activities. Not everyone can afford it; with more funding we could maybe help a family that hasn’t got any money. That’s what is needed, more funding, so we can open more Groups and get kids off the streets.’
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