One in a Million: Fran Seary

Fran Seary is one in a million.  

The 17-year-old was struggling with missing her friends during lockdown and drew upon the support she’d had from the charity Listening Ear to inspire her.  

She’s one of the million people to benefit from the Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund since it was launched in March 2020.  Here’s her story:

Teenager Fran Seary first joined a weekly group counselling session through Halewood-based Listening Ear’s Butterflies project a year ago, after the loss of her nan.   

During the sessions, the counsellor helped those attending to explore their feelings of loss and to understand their emotional responses to this. 

As a group, the young people attending decided to look at issues around self-esteem, and Fran said how much she felt she got out of this.  

When the sessions were finished, Fran was provided with some additional 1:1 counselling sessions for a brief period to explore  her anxieties about feeling safe in the community.  

When Listening Ear’s Emotional Youth Club (known as EYC to the young people who attend) started in September, Fran signed up for this and engaged really well. 

She became a valuable member of the group along with some other young people that she had met at the Butterflies group. 

The EYC offered a monthly chance for those who had previously attended sessions to keep in contact whilst continuing  to share with their peers, build on and gain new coping strategies and have the support of the counsellors who attend EYC with them.

When the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced in late March, Julie Wright, who facilitated the EYC, spoke to the parents or carers of those who had been attending to see how they were coping due to the pandemic and social distancing measures.  

Fran’s Dad explained that she was still receiving limited phone support but that she was fed up and struggling  being at home and stuck in the house. 

As she was unable to see and connect with her friends and family, Fran had found an outlet by selling clothes on an Instagram and Facebook account. 

Fran said: “Going to the Butterflies sessions last year and then the EYC really helped to build my confidence. When I got the idea of selling fashion clothes during lockdown, I set up Doll Face Liverpool, and it has really helped me deal with missing contact with others.”

In her Facebook posting, Fran was open about her motivation for setting up Doll Face, saying: “A lot of people close to me know everything I’ve have to overcome in the last five years. I’m starting my business to show that I won’t let this beat me.”

Fran has also decided to donate a percentage of her profits to Listening Ear’s Butterflies project to help other young people and children to overcome their experience. “They have been such a great help to me and all staff are so lovely. Thank you in advance for anyone who would like to support me and my new business Doll Face,” she said.

Fran is one of just one of the million people who have been helped with funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation. 

“I really appreciate that the Steve Morgan Foundation has helped Listening Ear offer people like me the chance to build their confidence,” she said.

Listening Ear received £12,000 from Steve Morgan Foundation, which has allowed it to continue to take referrals and offer counselling to more people. 

Listening Ear has been providing a range of emotional and psychological therapies for more than two decades. Today the charity gets over 2,000 referrals seeking support for children, young people and adults a year.

Philanthropist and businessman Steve Morgan announced in March he would be giving up to £1m a week to charities in Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire faced with a cashflow crisis as a result of Covid-19.  The Covid-19 Emergency Fund has made more than 450 awards to date.

(Fran’s Facebook page for Doll Face Liverpool is here: https://www.facebook.com/LiverpoolDollFace/ )

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