Our Mr. 10 had been in care for nearly 6 years when Flipaustralia became involved, well when we met Ritchie. It was just on 18 months ago and circumstances were dire.
I am Mr. 10’s mum, he was removed from my care and placed with my mum at the age of 2. In his short life he had experienced severe trauma due to dv and drug use. My mum gave him the best home she could and worked tirelessly to meet all of his needs.
He was an angry young man, being sent home from daycare on a weekly basis. Mum sought out many therapeutic services and programs to try and help my little man heal. Sadly nothing worked, as he grew he became abusive, destructive all the time and at times scary to be around. It was all consuming for my mum and almost a living nightmare.
Fast forward to year 2 and primary school number 3. Mr. 10 was getting suspended depending on the severity of his actions and lengths of suspension sometimes up to twice a week. This little boy was a hypervigilant, sensitive ball of anger always on the defence. On one occasion he put the whole school in lock down and police were called. Students and teachers were afraid of him.
Than along came Ritchie with his lived and learned experiences, matched with an easy going personality and an actual passion for what he does. I remember being shocked cause he wanted to meet me, mum. No service had involved me or cared for my opinions, since my boys removal. Ritchie treated me like a person and with absolutely no judgement sat there and listened to our story and what my thoughts were on why my child was behaving the way he was. He met with my mum as well.
Ritchies easy going approach was almost an instant hit with Mr. 10. Without knowing it he was being taught what it was to respect. Ritchies strong values and the service that he provides have saved us all in so many ways and have also made a strong imprint on Mr. 10 that I believe he will carry forever.
Fast forward again to now, and we have Mr. 10 back home living with me, MUM. He’s been at his new school for over a year. No suspensions. He’s let go of his anger (mostly lol, just not when it comes to his Nintendo) and this awesome funny, smart and cool character has emerged.
It’s hard to put the severity of our situation in words, and to truly give Ritchie the credit he deserves. I can however confidently say that without his help I’m not sure where my son would be. The 6 hours of one on one time each week, the countless school meetings and the desire to actually make a difference in Mr.10’s life has meant that this young man won’t get lost in the system. That he is on the right path to live a decent life, as a decent person.
My family’s gratitude is endless!
Thank you Flipaustralia, Thank you Ritchie for having such a positive impact on all our lives!