Why Oasis Matters
At Oasis our goal is to help keep families together while ensuring that parents and children alike are safe, healthy and happy. We’ve touched many lives, helping to empower people to make positive choices and see long lasting changes.
Some of the people we have helped…
Read some of the stories of families we have helped over the years, told in their own words.
All names have been changed to protect the identities of our service users.
“We are a local family who did not know of the existence of Oasis until my daughter suffered a brain injury in a car accident whilst on her way to begin her life at university.
Our whole world changed that day and over the next years, Caroline and Oasis have guided and supported us through an incredibly difficult time with advice, care and support in order to stay together as a family. From help to access mental health support, during times of intense crisis, situations with police and imminent prison stays, to offering childcare and a place of safety for my now incredibly vulnerable daughter, all this has been so generously given to us by all at Oasis. We are all so incredibly grateful to Oasis and Caroline for helping us through and guiding us all on our difficult journey to where we are now. Things can change for us in a blink – Caroline is always there on the end of a phone to offer advice – we would never have managed without Oasis, I truly believe my daughter would not be here today or certainly not have come so far in her recovery without their amazing kindness, patience, dedication and understanding so generously given to all in my family. I will forever be in their debt, the gift of their unstinting support continues to be amazing.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
I was recommended to attend the Freedom Programme in 2011 and I could never have imagined that from initially stepping through the doors on week one just what a journey onwards I would make. Naively I thought my journey had finished when I initially started on the course, but little did I know it was just about to begin! I asked to attend the Freedom Programme many more times after completing it once and decided that I would then like to be a facilitator of this course so that I too could make my own real difference to the lives of fellow survivors. Oasis found the funding to make this possible and to this day I have been assisting in the facilitating of this course since 2013. I also undertook training with Oasis to facilitate the Fun Friends Programme. I have also been privileged with my two daughters to have had the ongoing support from the majority of the services at Oasis namely:
The Freedom Programme
The Resilience Programme
Independent counselling for myself
Fun Friends Programme for one of my daughters
Holidays to Weymouth
Trips to Pantomime
Maths Tutoring for one of my daughters
Plus, all the ongoing emotional and practical support, including attendance at meetings, for myself and both my two daughters spanning now seven years which has been personally undertaken by Caroline Edwards who has been journeying alongside us all the way!!!!! She has never given up on myself or my family which I hasten to mention is the most important point to note!
I can honestly say that no other charity, organisation or service has been consistently and tirelessly supporting myself and my family throughout the past 7 years and I will never in my lifetime be ever able to thank Caroline Edwards and her team enough! Oasis without any doubt has touched our lives and Surrey is a far better place in support of the vulnerable all the time Oasis is able to remain operational.
Where do I start?
I became a client of Oasis back in the early part of 2009. My children at the time were two, three, six and nine. I was struggling with self-esteem and had extremely negative trust issues after going through a lot of trauma with my youngest son. He was born at just twenty-four weeks, which not only resulted in a lot of hospital care but also left him with cerebral palsy. I knew I had to try and let people in, to help me cope and honestly I wouldn't be where I am today without Caroline and her team. They gently taught me to let go little by little and in time they all had my complete trust. My Son continued going to Oasis and White Lodge for all his pre-school before starting at school. Throughout his school life Caroline has been a constant source of support when I have needed her, from just a chat to attending meetings with me.
What else has Oasis given me? My self-worth, the confidence to get back to work and achieve things. Lifelong friends not only for me but my children. In-fact my eldest and another clients daughter are now both eighteen and are off to Greece together for six weeks to do turtle rescue, something they are both passionate about. That foundation of friendship started on a summer holiday seven years ago that we were lucky enough to go on with the Oasis group. Even though my kids are growing, at a very rapid rate, I still see myself as a client of Oasis. I still feel that the team are there for me in whatever capacity I may need them and I can't put into words how much it means and reassurance it gives me knowing they are there.
I am writing this in support of Oasis. In 2016 I was savagely attacked by my partner of eighteen years, with whom I had four small children with. He was arrested for attempted murder but was only imprisoned for two years on a GBH charge. All four children were removed from my care and placed into foster care. Oasis have saved my life, by providing courses that have enabled me to turn my life around and gain two of my four children back. I am now applying for a discharge of care order for my other two children. I would never have been able to get to where I am without the continued help and support of Oasis, providing me with legal assistance, resilience, domestic violence awareness courses and life coaching. Without this support I would definitely not of been able to function normally and would have definitely been a continuing victim. Oasis also funded my children and I to go on a much needed holiday, we had the most wonderful time. I really am so grateful to Caroline and all staff at Oasis.
This is a wonderful charity that offer chances and support to families with little or no means of coping and surviving.
Since 2010 I have been helped by Oasis to complete courses, build my confidence, gain new skills and have built lasting relationships with the staff. Having moved to Cobham after a domestic abuse relationship, meeting Caroline and the team has helped me to learn to trust people again.
I have attended breaks away with my children and have watched my son blossom after his diagnosis of ADHD and autism whilst I was attending parenting classes and getting support. After a stable time, I recently experienced a crisis again but allowing myself to admit that I was struggling was no longer hard for me as I knew I had the Oasis team on my side.
I have attended The Freedom Course, The Resilience Course and various parenting programmes. The hamper I receive at Christmas is appreciated as I am a single parent and cannot afford what is generously given, including Christmas presents for my children.
Caroline has been there for me through all my ups and downs, even when I did not feel I had someone to confide in, she was always there to assist me with a listening ear and a word of advice. I am very grateful and extremely lucky to have found them and continue to have them in my family’s life as a support network that helps to build my confidence.
My daughter, is now attending the nursery and she is very happy and thriving.
She gets very upset during holidays and on the days that they are closed.
I am a survivor of domestic abuse.
Over a period of a few years my confidence and independence was slowly eroded. Bit by bit I was destroyed my partner made all of the decisions about our life and over time I began to accept his lack of compromise and it was easier to go along with things than disagree. He would tell me I shouldn’t have such a thing as pride, that I was going to be useless if I couldn’t give birth naturally or breastfeed our baby. He started filing the car up with petrol on a Sunday so he could check my mileage every week. I became more recluse. He questioned me daily about who I was seeing and what I was doing – who was coming to the house. I tried so hard to meet with his expectations, but failed every time. He monitored the gas bill and I sat in the cold most evenings, waiting for his timer to come on. The hot water was regulated – there was only enough in the tank for a short shower.
After the birth of our son his behaviour was frightening. His temper would fly when our son didn’t finish his bottle and he shook our son before he was six weeks old. Not long after that he raped me.
That wasn’t what made me leave I am ashamed to say. I was utterly terrified and honestly believed I had no way out. I firmly believe that if my Mum hadn’t come to collect my son and I before he returned home one weekend he would have killed me.
It became very apparent to me early on that despite the need for three gruelling years in court to determine my son’s safety, we would still not be high enough on any lists to obtain front line services. Even though they acknowledged our need, Social Services simply didn’t have the resources to give us what we needed.
Amazingly the Oasis Charity did. It is an incredible and very special place and has become our second family – Oasis gave us all the specialist support we need to survive our experiences and to build our future.
My son did all his early years learning at the Oasis Centre’s Nursery. There were times when he needed one to one support to cope with the emotional traumas he has experienced, and with the high staff to children ratios and incredible compassion of the staff at Oasis he stayed on track to make the transition to school. He goes back every school holidays to see his friends as well as all his surrogate mums he loves dearly!
The Oasis Centre also put me in touch with the right counsellor and after two years of soul searching and rebuilding my self-esteem, I now only touch base with him occasionally. Both he and Caroline gave me the courage to face my son’s dad, to attend mediation, to set boundaries with him and even to represent myself in court. They were with me every step of the way.
For a long time I still thought the domestic violence was my fault – that if I had ‘done’ something differently the outcome would have been different. Then I took part in the Freedom Programme at Oasis and I now finally understand the behaviour that drove me to the brink of insanity. To begin with the most important thing it taught me was that I am not alone. With the support of the group I built the solid foundations for my recovery that I had been trying desperately, but failing, to do on my own with self-help books. I was also lucky enough to attend the Resilience course at Oasis. I have learnt to value myself and that looking after myself is okay – what is selfish and what it is not.
When I successfully confronted my son’s father using my newly acquired assertiveness skills, Caroline told me ‘I had found my voice’. It was an amazing milestone to reach – far beyond all those graduations.
My son has also attended a Fun Friends anxiety course for children and we also receive other support from Oasis such as, at Christmas, which is always financially at hard time of year.