After some of the knocking of social workers that I mentioned over the last few days, how about a positive spin?
The teenager, of Forres, Moray, felt scared and alone – until she met her guardian angel, Evelyn Stewart, a social worker at children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
Throughout Mandy’s two-year battle with ALL, Evelyn was there for her every step of the way. She reassured the critically-ill schoolgirl and provided invaluable support to mum Julie, dad George and younger brothers Grant, 15, and Lee, 10.
And Evelyn even made one of Mandy’s biggest dreams come true . . . arranging for her to meet rock star Pink.
Mandy goes on to explain
“Without Evelyn, I’d be really sad and hiding away. She has stuck by me and helped me through it. I don’t know how to repay her for what she has done.”
Mum Julie, 39, added: “We really didn’t think we would get where we are now.
“Evelyn kept us going. She cheered us up when we were down. She definitely deserves this for everything she does for young people with cancer and their families.”
But Evelyn is very modest about the impact she has had on Mandy and her family. “It’s a privilege to be able to do anything,” she said, “because it is really hard for the child, parents and siblings. I am lucky, I have an excellent team behind me.”
I can’t really add anything to that – other than to make the point that sometimes you do know why you are doing the job – and it isn’t all about negativity and control.
Last week and over the next few weeks, I have been involved in the Care Ambassador scheme which works to encourage young people to seek careers in social care generally. I usually talk about personal experiences of mine and what I enjoy and find rewarding but I’ve tucked this story away in my resources file because I think it illustrates very clearly and far more obviously than some of my own examples, some of the positives in the profession.
And there are a lot of positives.