Mel's Story


Mel hadn't seen her children in weeks when she contacted us.

After already spending thousands in legal fees, Mel came to our Chelmsford team. While the breakdown of her marriage had been amicable, it had turned sour over time, and as a result her ex-husband broke the custody agreement and refused to let her see her sons for weeks.

Because of the stress and emotional strain of her situation, she was unable to maintain her work as a teacher, and she could barely afford the ink to print the 26-page form to start court proceedings.  Filling out a form may sound simple, but for Mel the 26-page C100 meant recalling a traumatic and distressing period of her life, and the outcome would directly affect her ability to see her children. Immersed in the context of her situation, Mel found the process extremely difficult. 

By using screen sharing technology, our volunteer was able to help Mel through a remote appointment during lockdown. He helped her map out each question and which issues she wanted to focus on when answering them. Alongside this, he was able to explain key legal terms to her, and check over her statement for any errors.

We spent over two hours with Mel and at the end of the appointment, she was visibly calmer and less distressed. By being there, taking the time to listen to her story and helping her understand the form, our volunteer made all the difference for Mel at an extremely difficult time in her life.