In their words

If you are considering getting involved or making a referral to the Lighthouse/Skylight service, you may find it helpful to hear from others who have been to our service and found it helpful.

Comments from young people who participated in the Skylight project

"I have been coming to Skylight for quite a while now. I have seen the same worker every week. Coming to Skylight helps me get rid of my feelings and get things out of me. When I come to Skylight I sometimes use the white board to write things down but usually I talk or do role play"

"I would say to other young people and to other parents who might think about their child coming here that they should"

It will do them good

"Sometimes when I get down I talk less. I can get angry and I don’t know how to handle it, but coming here helps. My foster carer or social worker told me about Skylight – at the time I wasn’t sure about coming here. I was a bit scared for the first time but something made me give it a go and keep with it"

"I have had a lot of change outside with social workers and carers so this is the only place where it stays the same"

"I don’t tell folk what I talk about at Skylight but people at my school know I come here"

"I get to say what I think of Skylight at the review meetings. They aren’t scary. I could say if I wanted things to be different or if I wanted to stop coming"

"It is very helpful but I think you need to be quite mature to come here"

"Over the time I have got to trust my worker. You have to learn to do this"

"It depends on your character. It might take a year to trust someone but I would say to other folk keep at it, even if it takes more than a year, it will make you feel better if you can stick with it"

Letter from a young person who participated in the Lighthouse project

If you’re reading this you’re probably thinking about becoming involved with Barnardo’s Lighthouse. I became involved with them two years ago when I was charged with a serious sexual offence, when I was 15.  I want to tell you about what going to Barnardo's Lighthouse every week is like.

You’re probably thinking ‘what’s the point.’ You probably want to put what happened behind you and forget about it.  But there is a point….

Over the last few months, I’ve realised a lot about feelings that I had around the time of the offence.  I’ve also realised that if I had been able to talk about those feelings back then with someone I wouldn’t have done what I did.  You shouldn’t keep feelings inside.  It’s better to share them with people.  It’s taken me a long time to realise this.  

I’ve also realised that on the day of my offence there were points where I could have done something different.  I’ve learned a lot coming here about safe thoughts that I could have used, thoughts that can stop me getting into trouble again in the future.  You could learn about those kinds of thoughts as well.

I spent a lot of time talking about my offence.  That can be hard.  Sometimes I didn’t want to come although I always attended each session in the end.  Talking about things you’ve done that hurt other people can be difficult but it makes sense in the long run because you learn so much about why things happened the way they did.  

You also learn about how you can properly move on without making the same kind of mistakes again.

You always know beforehand what the session is going to be about.  I was a bit worried about what my mum and dad would find out about the sessions but you can decide how much they get to know.  Your social worker gets involved which can be good.  Your social worker can also help you with other things- mine is helping me find a job right now.  It’s sometimes good to get to know new people who can help you.  

You hear about people who get beaten up and al that after being charged.  You probably think – like I did after my offence – that your life has ended.  But now I’ve got a new life and I like this one a lot better.  I’ve got new friends and things to do.  My family’s moved house.  I can walk around town without feeling scared.  Things have worked out really positively.  I’ve moved on from my offence.  Lighthouse has helped me with that.

I don’t know how to end this letter.  It took me a year and a half to sort things out.  You might be able to do things quicker than that.  You’ll get through it.