* Please note, all names and ages have been changed for confidentiality.

Agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed, has plagued a mother we’ve been working with for years.

After her husband passed away and challenging behaviour from her children, Alice* was at an all-time low. Battling mental health problems, she was severely depressed.

Alice was isolated from the outside world, never answering the door or going outside. She was getting deeper and deeper into debt due to ordering taxis to take the children to and from school.

As her mental health deteriorated, Alice lost pride in her home and appearance. As the house became cluttered and unclean, conditions in the home became unsatisfactory for her young children to live in.

Thankfully, school referred Alice and her children to us due to their low attendance, behaviour, parental engagement, and the children’s negative emotions as well as physical health. The situation was dire.

Agoraphobia sufferer

Lots of our calls and home visits went unanswered, but we persevered. Eventually, we managed to get a home visit arranged, and we’ve been involved with the family for the last 6 months.


  • provided the family with constant emotional support and reassurance
  • helped the family get to relevant local agencies and organisations
  • helped Alice make it to appointments which had previously been too unbearable
  • helped the family move to a new house and redecorate
  • supported them with daily routines for both Alice and her children
  • given healthy eating advice and helped them stick to it, reducing their daily takeaways

We’re extremely proud that all their lives have drastically improved. The children have started to behave, they’ve settled into their new school, and they feel proud of their new home. Even better, Mum is walking them to and from school!

Their attendance and achievement have both improved massively, alongside parental engagement and involvement. Alice now takes the children out every weekend, when they previously hadn’t gone anywhere.

With this new attitude, independence and outlook on life, Alice has been able to get a job and now works at a local business 😃

Alice still has some bad days but has constant support available to her should she need it. Moving forward, the assigned Barefoot Profressional will continue to support the family, sustaining their progress and ensuring their social time continues.


To continue our work with Alice and others in the local community, we rely on grants, funding and YOUR donations. To help us, please consider donating online.

Your donation will help us to change the lives of low-income families and those in poverty in North and South Tyneside, and Northumberland who struggle every day with issues such as severe debt, substance abuse, unemployment, domestic abuse, poor housing conditions, mental and physical ill-health and child neglect.

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