Photo of Zoe Darcy

Zoe Darcy

Zoe has been nominated by Margaret Inglesant. Margaret says “Zoe takes care of her grandson through special guardianship. Initially, she was awarded an interim care order for Daniel in January 2017.

In March 2018, this was changed to permanent care under special guardianship. Daniel was able to remain in a home setting, growing up with contact with his mum and family.

Within three months, it became apparent that there was more to caring for Daniel than originally thought.  Not only did he need love and attention, he also needed special care and nursing.”

Daniel was suspected to have underlying issues with his health.  An MRI scan revealed abnormal brain formation, which impacted on his ability to carry out the easiest of tasks.  Daniel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy with an underlying neurological degenerative disorder affecting his metabolic system.

Who has she helped?

“Throughout this period, Zoe maintained a full time job and a loving family environment for Daniel, also supporting his mum with her mental health, contact with Daniel and her other daughter’s health needs.

Daniel, although diagnosed with major health issues, has progressed. Through aids and toys, he laughs, learns and develops skills. He does activities that on the face of it should be impossible. This is down to their sheer determination.

Had Zoe not stepped up in extremely difficult circumstances, things could have turned out so differently. She’s given Daniel’s mum the opportunity of being able to be involved in her son growing up. This might not have been the case otherwise.

Watching how she copes puts life into perspective. We are privileged to have her and Daniel in our lives.  And despite all her challenges, Zoe is the one who does so much for others around her.”

What’s worked?

“Zoe has maintained a supportive home life whilst maintaining normality, in an ever-changing, challenging environment, which she balances the alongside work and extended family needs.

Undoubtedly, her positivity and calmness in a life which at times must seem like chaos, has worked.  I know that life is a massive challenge for Zoe. At times, she questions herself and worries about the future, but rarely shows it. Instead, she works through her fears herself, or with select confidantes, and brings herself back up very quickly.

She has altered her life in so many ways to accommodate the needs of Daniel. One example is the purchase of a caravan to take Daniel for regular brief holidays, as they are unable to go too far.”

What have you learned? Any challenges?

“Zoe has learnt that in the, face of adversity, family and love prevails.  She undergoes daily challenges in relation to staying positive and keeping normality whilst balancing financial demands of her family needs.

Her life for the last two years has been full of learning new things and daily and sometimes hourly challenges.  I hope the main thing that she has got out of this is that she is loved by so many people, as is Daniel, and that she is an awesome, inspiring woman.”

What’s next?

“Zoe continues to support Daniel, and children with similar needs through charity events, fundraising and creating awareness of the need for family support in times of struggle.

The primary reason that she continues to work full-time is that she needs the money as she gets very little financial support. I know that there is equipment that she’d like to buy for him and I know she’d love to take him abroad for a holiday for all of them but she just doesn’t have the money.  She is also trying to raise funds for Pride of the Isle charity who help to support children like Daniel.”

What help, resources or contacts do you need?

“Access to people whom can advise on support and fundraising activities.  Support in creating awareness of family care and special guardianship and the differences in parental responsibility for parents, grandparents and carers.

Make people aware of the precious gift of helping others and the enjoyment it brings and to show others they are not alone and can build links and support groups to others whom are in similar situations. I just know that any help they are offered will be appreciated so much and she will benefit from contact with others in a similar situation.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!

Get Tickets

Buy tickets for the celebration event in Nov

Join Us

Join the movement – become an IWC member