After the initial shyness, my younger friend (or should I say officially my BFF!), C, has welcomed me into her life better than I could have ever hoped for.

I remember our first outing over three years ago like it was yesterday.  We went to the park and played Pooh sticks on a little bridge over a little stream.  After an hour it become Pooh leaves and Pooh grass as we had run out of sticks!

That moment there was when I knew I had been matched with the right younger friend and I couldn’t wait to open her eyes to the world she lives in.

Its been the simplest of things that I have found really makes an impact on C. And each time we meet I feel she grows and learns something new every time – whether that is about herself or the people and things around her. Which for me makes it all worthwhile.

Below are just a few examples of change:

Rather than jumping on me and screaming if a dog is in ‘our space’, she now asks me and then asks the owner if she can stroke it.

Now, instead of playing on her own and being un-happy at the play barn that no one speaks to her first so she can‘t make a friend – she approaches them first and finds someone to play with!

Rather than panicking in the deep end of the pool and gabbing me around the neck, she calms herself, stops panicking which then lets her be able to tread water and get herself safely to the edge. Since this happened – jumping in the deep end of the pool goes on for the full 2hrs!

It is all about a confidence and I can really see a difference in this little girl who use to be shy and scared of everything and would never just give something a go.  We still have our panic moments, and times where she thinks she can’t, but we get through them and learn how to deal with the situation.

Before I started this journey, my main concern was if the family would accept me .  Having someone visit your house, take your child out and do things that you don’t/or cant do can not be easy for any parent. And just like C, the whole family have welcomed me and I have great relationship with Mum.

All in all, I cherish my time with C and am so pleased I am able to give a child time and life experiences that are making a positive difference.