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Natalie's children get the chance to dream big

Following her divorce, Natalie found herself in a new town with four young boys, all under ten, and things were tough. "You feel very alone when you're raising your children on your own,” says Natalie.

"I think the lowest time for me was one night going through the boys’ school bags and I found one of them had an excursion note in there that they hadn’t given to me. So I went to him and asked why he hadn’t given me the note, as the excursion was the previous week. And he said: ‘oh, mum, I know you didn't have the money so I didn't want to ask you for it.’

"That broke my heart... you realise that these little things that we take for granted are important to the boys. It’s important that they fit in, and that they do things that their friends are doing."

Watch Natalie's story

You feel very alone when you're raising your children on your own.
Natalie, Learning for Life parent

Natalie says that coming across The Smith Family a year later changed their lives. “It’s given my children the chance to dream big and to know that there are other people who believe in them. To give that to a child is to give them the world. They can take that and run, they can build bridges, they can mend wars. You've just got to believe in them and support them, and to know that somebody does that, it's huge,” says Natalie.

Natalie’s son Travis, who is now studying medicine at university, says that knowing that other people besides his parents were behind him for his education gave him more drive. “It allowed me to know that if I messed up I was putting my education away, so I wasn't only letting myself down, I was letting other people down as well. So it definitely gave me a strong motivation to try harder and succeed,” he says.

“Without the help of my sponsor I wouldn’t have been able to get into medicine in university, I wouldn’t have been able to move to a better school, and I wouldn’t have been able to continue learning what I want to learn and getting towards a better future, preventing what happened to me happening to my children.”

Travis at the library
Travis, Learning for Life student

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