Jessica is on the road to recovery

Jessica who received support from the Nova project. INLM3311-116gc
Jessica who received support from the Nova project. INLM3311-116gc

A SCHOOLGIRL who was threatened with a knife is on the road to recovery thanks to counselling.

Bleary woman Lyn Paton held her daughter Jessica close as they talked about the ordeal the schoolgirl went through when she was aged just eight.

Jessica and her mother Lyn who are supporting the Barnardos Nova project. INLM3311-115gc

Jessica and her mother Lyn who are supporting the Barnardos Nova project. INLM3311-115gc

Lyn said the family has the charity NOVA to thank for her daughter’s return to her former self.

The Bleary mum of five said: “Jessica was told she was going to be stabbed. There was no charge brought against the man.

“After it happened she started being very sulky and moody and very unsure of herself.

“She started bedwetting for a while.”

Jessica with her mother Lyn Paton, right and Pauline Allen. INLM3311-114gc

Jessica with her mother Lyn Paton, right and Pauline Allen. INLM3311-114gc

The incident happened in April 2010 when Jessica was eight.

Lyn continued: “After talking to her GP, Dr Hamilton at Wynne Hill, he said to try the NOVA charity.

“They were on the ball straight away. Shauna (Jessica’s counsellor) came more or less on a weekly basis.”

NOVA is a Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Trauma Support Service. It began in 1998 and currently offers a range of services for children, families and communities who have been psychologically traumatised as a result of the Northern Ireland conflict or more general trauma experiences.

Barnardo’s NOVA service represents an active partnership between Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, local statutory agencies and local voluntary and community agencies and groups.

Lyn said: “Shauna did stuff with Jessica at her level and at her pace. They played games and did art. They’d do activities like throwing dough at the wall to get frustration out.

“It took about 10 weeks. Her confidence grew from the very start. In my opinion she is more confident now than ever. I don’t know what we’d have done without Shauna.”

Jessica (9) goes to Bleary PS and is going into Primary Six this September. She likes maths, arts and crafts and gymnastics.

Her mum Lyn has been married to Dave for five years and has four other children - Jack (13), Jason (11), Lucy (4) and Gracie May (2).

Lyn and her friend Pauline Allen have organised a fundraising night for Nova which will be held on Saturday, August 27 from eight to late in the Pheasant in Gilford.

The night will feature a disco, raffle and light supper at a cost of £5.

On the night several brave men will be getting waxed in aid of NOVA, but not to be left out of the fundraising the girls took part in a sponsored walk on August 7 raising over £300.

Lyn, a full time mum, part time volunteer at the Contacts Centre and part time student at Banbridge Tech, said: “Jessica’s school have been very supportive and we’d also like to thank the businesses who donated raffle prizes for the charity night.”

To get tickets for the NOVA night in the Pheasant contact Lyn on 0754 600 6357 or pick up tickets directly from The Pheasant and Planet Bingo in Portadown.