31st May 2018

Roxanne’s Story

I have come on in leaps and bounds and have become more confident and was able to access the short breaks funding which I used to pamper myself.

My name is Roxanne and I am originally from Nairobi, Kenya. I moved to Dundee in 1995, with my parents, Brother and Sister, who has multiple physical disabilities. Later my parents separated, my Mum stayed in Dundee and my Dad moved to London, leaving me as my Sister’s main Carer.

I was referred to Penumbra’s Carers Support Service from Dundee International Women’s Centre, and at first I was very withdrawn and had very low self-esteem. Eventually, I started to talk about the challenges I faced throughout our lives. Growing up in Kenya was incredibly tough because we were poor and attitudes towards my Sister’s disabilities were very negative. My mother had to fight hard to get my sister whatever treatment and help she could.  We all faced barriers because of our race, culture, clothing and difficulty speaking English. My sister and I found it hard to fit into the community. Sadly my mother became ill and passed away and then, at the beginning of 2017, my father died too. This left my family in shock, with the three of us having to manage on our own.

I, along with my siblings had to grow up quickly and learn to deal with the outside world. Whilst my sister got quite a lot of support through social services because of her disabilities, I never asked for help until I accessed Penumbra’s Carers service

Since being at Penumbra, I have come on in leaps and bounds and have become more confident and was able to access the short breaks funding which I used to pamper myself. I have become a  very strong person and have learned to confide in my keyworker and build up a trust relationship with others, which in turn has helped me to gain self-esteem and become more assertive. I have also just completed an employability course and am presently doing a voluntary placement at a crèche.

This has given me the confidence to look for a job once I have passed my exams.