Hester was an only child, born to successful professional parents, both with a history of emotional or mental instability.
Hester came to us at 16 when she entered an acute period of suicidal depression. She was self-harming in a life-threatening way, uncommunicative, distracted, insomniac and refusing all food and drink.
Hester’s early weeks with us were a challenge. She was repeatedly taken to the local A&E department having self-harmed, and was placed on suicide watch. But as the weeks went by, relationships began to form with her keyworker and with other young people in the community.
With a highly structured community life, a tailored therapeutic plan, and being the subject of a great deal of attention, Hester began to feel safe. Every detail of her behaviour and communications was subject to consideration by the group.
Hester found such attention and challenge, day in day out, deeply healing. She gradually learned to trust and to rely on the support of others and the insights and feelings which they provoked in her.
Hester attended the on-site school. She had always been bright when she was younger, but her emotional problems appeared to have shut down her ability to learn. As she made emotional progress, so her cognitive functions returned. She began to show exceptional promise.
Hester left us when she was 18, a beautiful and accomplished girl, who always dresses stylishly. She completed GCSE’s, A and AS Levels. We shared with her the anticipation of visiting and choosing her university, and supported her in the transition. She is enjoying her course in Engineering, and loves walking in the nearby hills with her friends, with whom she shares a house.
Like many of our young people, Hester comes back to see us two or three times a year at Feasts. This is a chance for Hester to give something back, by presenting to the current group of young people an example of someone who is thriving as a result of her stay with us. This in its turn helps to spark the crucial flame of hope for other traumatised young people.