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Storytime “turned things around” for Sam and his daughter

From no contact to a flourishing father/daughter relationship, dad in custody, Sam* could never have imagined the tremendous impact Storytime would have on him and his family.

When Sam first applied to do Storytime, he didn’t even have a phone number to contact his daughter Maisy*.

He asked if our team could help and connected us with his mother, Maisy’s grandmother.

After completing the usual checks, when our team reached out to the grandmother, she was so excited and happy to hear that her son wanted to do Storytime!

Our team took the time to explain the process to her and then to Maisy’s mother, Sam’s former partner, who was a little apprehensive at first as Sam had previously not been very involved in their lives, but she agreed to take part for the sake of her daughter.

A healthy and positive child-parent relationship, whenever it’s safe, fosters well-being and a sense of belonging.

Maisy didn’t know her dad very well, and this would be a great opportunity for them to connect and take the first tentative steps with the support of our team.

He told her that his life had completely changed since he recorded the storybook.

Sam made his storybook recording for Maisy, his reading filled with care and love, and off it went!

A few months later

A few months later, Sam came up to our team. He told her his life had completely changed since recording the storybook.

Maisy loved the gift from her father, and her mother found the gesture touching and a sign that he was ready to be part of his daughter’s life.

She brought Maisy in for her first-ever visit with Sam, and they’ve continued to visit frequently since.

He said that sending out the Storytime book had “turned things around” for him with his former partner and had been a massive help in establishing contact with Maisy.

Sam said he was keen to sign up for anything else SHINE for Kids could offer to him and his family!

Our team told Sam about our visits program, which provides activities and toys for children.

With our team’s support, he said he couldn’t wait for his next visit with Maisy.

Nothing makes us happier than seeing families reunited, and our team looks forward to continuing to help and watch this father/daughter relationship blossom.

Feedback from dads in the Storytime program at Parklea

“At first, I thought it was silly, but after I did it, my kids loved it. It gave us something to talk about and made us connect better. I felt that was another way of showing my kids I love them and I am still around.”

“[Storytime was] a chance to give my daughters something they deserve.”

“The youngest gets her bedtime story, and the older two girls can know how much I love and miss them.”

“It means a lot for me [to do Storytime] … a feeling of family connection is important inside here and makes me look forward to the day of family reunion.”

“Reading [my children] this book made me very happy, and I know the kids will be too.”

“It means the world knowing how happy they will be [to get a Storytime].”

“It’s emotional but good. I could read a book for her [my daughter] every day.”

“[I am happy that I’ve done something positive.”

“The Storytime program was absolutely on point, and I hope that this keeps going to give inmates an opportunity to be in their kid’s lives. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”

“It means the world that my ten-week-old can hear my voice.”

“[This program means] I can be a father again.”

“[I’ve gained] happiness and a clear mind.”

“My connection with my child is still strong.”

“I got a sense that people care [about me and my family].”

What our families and kids at other centres say about Storytime!

“It was lovely receiving the books; the children were very excited to hear Mum’s voice.”

“Thank you so much it’s a beautiful idea.”

“We were so excited to receive the book, and to hear Mum’s voice was just beautiful.”

“Thank you so much. We received the book today, it was absolutely beautiful! Lily* had the biggest smile listening to her Mum. So personal and just beautiful. It made me tear up listening and seeing how much it meant to Lily*. A unique gift that will be treasured forever.”

“Hi Karen – thank you so much for this; it was absolutely beautiful seeing the smiles on Adam* and Amy’s* faces. It brought so much joy to my heart.”

“It’s my Mummy’s voice! I can hear her!”

“Mummy, I love you so much, and I love my animal story.”


Thank you to our supporters for helping us to continue to run Storytime. 

Please donate today and help us meet the demand from families to do Storytime and all of our programs.

Storytime “turned things around” for Sam and his daughter

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