Childhood sweethearts Sandy Smith and Jayne Taylor-Savery have both been supported by Future Pathway, helping them come to terms with abuse in a children’s home. UPDATED 09:51, 18 SEP 2017
ALMOST fifty years after they first met in a children’s home where they were abused by staff, a couple have been reunited.
Sandy Smith and Jayne Taylor-Savery, both 65, were both residents at the Quarriers Children’s Home in Bridge of Weir. Quarriers is one of many organisations that has recently apologised to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry about physical and sexual abuse inflicted upon some children in its care.
More than 60 institutions in Scotland are currently being investigated.
But survivors of abuse in care can now access support from a £13.5 million Future Pathways fund set up by the Scottish Government.
Sandy and Jayne have both benefitted from the fund, which has helped them access practical and emotional support to ease their suffering, a legacy of the trauma they both suffered as children.
They found each other again four years ago after reconnecting on an online forum for former residents of Quarriers.
“It is amazing and wonderful,” says Sandy. “Jayne was the girl I’d wanted for my wife from the beginning and almost 50 years later we have fallen in love again.”
Jayne added: “We have so much in common – not least our time at Quarriers.”
Both Sandy and Jayne have battled emotional trauma as a result of their childhoods – both are divorced and Sandy has suffered from depression.
But finding each other and accessing help from Future Pathways has been their lifeline.
“I don’t think I would have opened up if I didn’t have the protection of Future Pathways behind me,” says Jayne, who lives in Dundee.
Registered disabled, Jayne has received a mobility scooter by Future Pathways to improve her quality of life, which means Sandy no longer needs to push her wheelchair when they are out and can instead walk by her side.
And Sandy, who lost the use of one arm after a car accident, is set to undergo treatment to help him regain some mobility, again with funding from Future Pathways.
“They are compassionate and they are there 24-7. I am privileged to have Future Pathways in my life,” says Jayne.
Sandy adds: “When you are a victim there’s very little support and there’s so many people frightened to come forward to speak about it – it took me 50 years.
“But speak up for yourself, there’s nothing to be frightened of with Future Pathways there to offer support.”
Many victims of childhood abuse have grown up with opportunities denied, from basic education to the safety and security that others take for granted.
Hundreds have already come forward, but there could be hundreds more eligible for support.
Anyone over 18 who experienced abuse while living in care, which includes residential or foster care, boarding school – state or private – a long-term stay in hospital or time spent in a young offenders institution, can apply.