How One Child in Care Met Their Forever Friend

More than 16 years ago, an unassuming little boy met who he would call his Pyjama Angel, not knowing that she would also become a forever friend.

Ashley was just 6 years old when he entered foster care. Born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Ashley’s neurological and physiological development was largely compromised.

It was 2005, when his Pyjama Angel Jenny trained to be part of our Love of Learning Program, thinking then that she would simply be supporting a child with their learning outcomes.

But their enduring relationship became so much more.

“He has become part of my ‘extended’ family,” she said.

“Supporting Ashley now is just as important as it was all those years ago.”

A friendship that endured the test of time

Now 22, Ashley and Jenny still spend valuable time together every single week, despite Ashley no longer being in the state’s care.

With difficulty in achieving the milestones of his peers, Jenny focused on all the other way’s Ashley could be successful and gain confidence in his self and his abilities.

It’s a strategy that has been instrumental in his growth as a “kind, caring and empathetic” young man, as Jenny so proudly describes him.

“He was very shy and withdrawn when we started and now, we are really a team,” she said.

“There have been challenges along the way, keeping him interested and thinking of new ways to ‘do and learn’ hasn’t always been easy but now as he is an adult there are many ways that I can support him.”

However it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

Through thick and thin

Of the many life-defining moments Ashley faced, with Jenny of course by his side, was the devastating loss of his incredible Foster Carer, Marcia.

“That was a very difficult period when Marcia was in Palliative Care,” Jenny so openly shares.

“Ashley speaks fondly of Marcia, and we visit her resting place on special occasions,” she said.

“He was very close to her and misses her, I am sure she would be very proud of the way he has stepped up and continued to live a responsible, productive and healthy life.”

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