All entries are from emails sent to Cathy, however she cannot be held liable for the validity of the claims made, some of which are very disturbing. Cathy reads and replies to as many emails as she can.
To add your comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading “Damaged” and am deeply moved by it. You did a fantastic job of telling the story, I could picture every detail. I read the book in 1 day and have passed it to my friend as she is tired of hearing me talking about it and wants to read it for herself. I will be ordering your other books today. You deserve a medal for what you do in looking after these children.
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading ‘Damaged’ after a friend brought me ‘Hidden’ for my birthday. After reading my first book I thought it was fantastic and could not put it down which was a little difficult with 2 kids!! Both books are great and I think you are a great writer. I am interested in fostering, I have always wanted to give a child love, affection and security for just that little period of time that they would be with me. Massive respect goes out to you for making a difference with all children you have. I really don’t know how you do it though, you must be a very organised woman to deal with all you do along with your older 3 children as well. I hope I will end up fostering one day as you have inspired me. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to read your next book and don’t stop writing.
Joanne, Birmingham, UK, 29/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I just wanted to let you know what a great job you did with Tayo. I read the book in just 2 days which I have never done before. I was so moved by the story and I also have to admit I did cry. I haven’t as yet had a chance to read your other books but I will make sure I do soon. So once again I’m glad I read Hidden and I would recommend it to anyone – go for it, it really is a awesome book. Thank you and I hope you continue writing these books.
Nermina, Australia, 29/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I just finished reading Damaged. It took me less than a week to read. I have never been so affected by a book in my life. I come from the most amazing family, 4 brothers and an amazing Mother and Father whom I can’t love more but have taken so much for granted. The rage and anger I feel inside is overwhelming, I have been crying for days, and Jodie and you have not left my mind, nor have your gorgeous children. I so much want Jodie to have the life everyone deserves and she will have a place in my heart for the rest of my life, as will you. I look forward to more updates on Jodie and her progress. It disturbs me greatly there are so many like Jodie out there, it’s just so criminal, and one day I hope to do what you are doing. Thank you Cathy, you have changed and touched so many lives, the ones you have cared for and the ones who read you stories. I will keep Jodie in my prayers and all those like her. I will be buying your book Hidden tomorrow, then Cut. I am taking the day off work and taking my Mum and Dad out for lunch, I want to express how much I love them and never want to take them for granted again. You are one of those Angels sent from Heaven. God Bless you, Jodie, Paula, Adrian and Lucy and everyone like you.
Bec N, Sydney, Australia, 29/06/2008
Hi Cathy, just wanted to say that I have finished reading both your books and must say that I have never read anything so brilliantly written in all my life. I couldn’t put your books down and although I found your stories heartbreaking they helped me put my life into perspective. There are a lot of children who need help and if it wasn’t for people like you God only knows where some of them would end up. Thanks for a great read and I am looking forward to your next book. You really are an inspiration! Regards
Tracy R, Stockport, UK, 25/06/2008
Heya Cathy, your books are totally amazing!! I can’t thank people like you enough as I was in foster care for a year and a half but thankfully my story ended like the twins you mention in ‘Hidden’. My mother died when me and my brother were 9 and 10 and my father found it hard to cope with the pressures of two children and hit the bottle. We lived in this abandonment for a year or two. It wasn’t until our school noticed that we missed loads of school and phoned social services, that people shocked my father into rehab. They said that they would have to take us away if he didn’t go to rehab and so he did. He couldn’t look after us while in there, so he volunteered us to go into foster care. My foster parents had to be extremely patient with us as we didn’t want to be there, so we tried our very hardest to mess everything up. It wasn’t until we saw our dad slowly getting clean that we realised that these people, people like you, didn’t have to look after us and could easily send us back, that we started co operating with them. Word got round the school that we were in foster care and we got bullied but together we are very strong and fought everyone off together. We have now been back with my father for 5 years and he has spoiled us rotten because he feels guilty. Now that I am 16 and very nearly an adult I sort of understand what my father went through. I will always remember my time in care, both the good times and the time at the beginning when we didn’t want to know. I still see my foster family every now and then as they don’t live far from us. It’s people like you who have the patience for children like us that need to be given awards. Every book of yours I shall read because you are such an amazing person and in both books I have cried. Thank you again for everyone just like you, you are all amazing. Love
Kelly and Craig, UK, 25/06/2008
Hi I have just read your book Hidden. This is the most heart warming book I have ever read in my life. I have read a lot of memoirs and this by far has to be the best. The story did capture my heart and my head. Its hard to think that I live in the same country and that it goes on right under my nose. I have had a lot of heart ache in my past and childhood and I really I can relate to most of them. I would love to foster children one day, it’s been my life long dream. I want to help children like me who have had hard lives and seen what most children should never see. Your books have helped me see a positive side and for that I am thankful. Not all children have a happy ending like the boy in your book. There are not enough people in this world like you, I only wish there were. I would like to thank you for all that you do. This was a truly moving story for me as have been your others.
Your books have given me the inspiration to carry on. I have read Damaged and Hidden, and I can relate to them, through trauma in my own life. Carry on the brilliant work.
Tracey, UK, 23/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I bought your book Damaged and the story of Jodie was so sad. I then bought your book Hidden which I have just finished. It is so touching that you and your family help these children in so many ways. I have just finished studying child care and have a one year old son. Some time in the future I would like to foster. You have given me inspiration to help children with difficult lives. You are a wonderful person. Can’t wait ’til “Cut” comes out in Aug.
Lynne, 24, UK, 23/06/2008
Hello Cathy! I am Kimberly from Singapore, and yes, your books do sell well in Singapore. The book cover of Damaged attracted me and after I read Damaged I bought Hidden. Cathy, you’re one amazing adult! I am 13 this year, the same age as Jodie. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to get “Cut” in Aug! Now I must do my homework for tomorrow.
Kimberly, 13, Singapore, 21/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I read your book Damaged and it made me realise it’s not only adults but children that need support and help. After reading your book I’ve decided to study child psychology and I’d like to foster when I’m older. I see you as an angel. You have given these children a new life, a reason to be proud and happy, and able to move on. I admire you and will be looking up to you. I’m sure the children you fostered love you dearly and wouldn’t be able to thank you enough. Your book really took me into your home and how you felt, as well as how Jodie felt. It made me see life differently. Your book was no fairytale or science fiction, it was real, like I was there. Thank you, you have made me see a totally new world.
Dannielle, 16, Australia, 21/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read Damaged and Hidden they were both really wonderful books. You are so wonderful in what you have done, I can’t wait for Cut to be released, and hopefully there will be many more to follow. Both books made me cry you’re an inspiration to all.
Tina, Gloucester, UK, 20/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged and I felt I had to write to you to let you know what a kind and lovely person you are. I started reading it yesterday afternoon and couldn’t put it down. I finished it at about 2am this morning. Even when I had finished I could not sleep for thinking about the suffering Jodie had been through, and the mistakes that social services made, especially, Eileen – asking you to give Jodie the Christmas present from her father (not that he deserves to be called that). I mean did she not think of what Jodie would have thought about being given that T-shirt? Damaged had me in tears from start to finish and I am so glad I have read it to make me realise that this suffering does happen. Now, when I think times are bad I will think of Jodie and know that whatever is happening in my life she had it worse. I was happy to read on your website that she is doing well and hopefully will be able to live with a family. It’s a shame it’s not yours, but I’m sure you are happy that this progress has been made. You are an inspiration to a lot of people and your family must be so proud of you, and you them. I think for their ages they coped so well. I will definitely be reading all of your books. Keep up the good work
Andrea, Hertfordshire, UK, 20/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I read Damaged and then Hidden in less than two weeks, and I loved them both. I’m only 11-years-old and I have written one short-ish story and half of another story. I am desperate to be an author, but I am now, thanks to you, desperate to be a foster carer. But I can easily get angry (proved to me by my older brothers, hehe) and I don’t have a lot of patience, though according to my friends I am very kind! I am so excited about Cut and I often check this website for some updates. Please don’t give up fostering, even if a case is really horrific like Jodie’s. Say hello to Lucy, Adrian and Paula for me!
Shannon, 11, 20/06/2008
Cathy, – “Damaged”, a gift from my alzheimic Mum. Why, at age 61 would I desire to read such an epic? I carry sufficient guilt at not having been the “Mum” I believe I should have been for a variety of reasons, but how insignificant that truly is. Suffice to say I am so very fortunate to be a grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren and am at a complete loss to understand the mentality of such brutalness of these morons you write about who dare to call themselves parents and human beings. I was absolutely mortified at what I was reading, nevertheless continued until the end. I admire you Cathy and wish I was gifted with half as much compassion as you possess. A very disturbing insight as to what this dear little girl had to endure.
C.C. Queensland, Australia, 20/06/2008
Dear Cathy I had to write to you again, as I have just finished reading Damaged. What a fantastic book, you write so well. I really felt for Jodie and you; what she went through was horrific. I can’t get my head round why she wasn’t helped earlier. I used to work in a school as a support assistant and I worked with children similar to Jodie. One little boy had extreme learning difficulties, behavioural problems and, like Jodie, had been abused. He did tell me things about what had happened to him and it is so heartbreaking. Luckily for him he had been taken to a foster carer like you. I was wondering if Jodie had been in school before she came to you why her assistant hadn’t picked up on anything, as you work so closely with them, but I suppose there are so many what ifs! I remember feeling like you when he was taken away to a special school that would cater for his needs better than we could. Although he did come a long way with me, so I am proud of that. When he left on his last day he said “I Love you Sarah”. I was in tears and I knew then how far he had come. You should be so proud of yourself, you did so much for Jodie. Keep up all your good work, looking forward to the next book. Kind Regards
Sarah, UK, 20/06/2008
Dear Cathy, Thank you so much for taking your time to read and reply to my last e-mail about ‘Damaged’. It made my day. I read your other book ‘Hidden’. Boy, I have never read a book with such a happy ending before! I felt so happy for Tayo! Because I live in Australia and you’re based in England it’s hard for me to find books of yours, but my Dad’s in England right now and I’m hoping he will bring back your latest book with him! You’re such a great writer. My friends and I talk of your works often.
Joy, Australia, 20/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just read your book Hidden which I got from the library. What can I say, an absolute unbelievable read. It was an amazing book from start to finish. I hope that the time Tayo spent with your family will stay with him for the rest of his, almost certain happy life. Well done you deserve a medal.
Josie, Morecambe, UK, 17/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read both your books, ‘Damaged’ first then ‘Hidden’. Both were brilliant. I couldn’t put them down. I’m looking forward to ‘Cut’ coming out. Hopefully you’ll have many more too. It is really heart breaking to think there are so many kids out there who have people around them who don’t care. Thank god for people like you though. I’d love to become a carer from just seeing the satisfaction it has brought you and most importantly to help the children. I love kids and hate the thought of them suffering. No kid should have to suffer. Keep up the good work.
Sinead M, 16/06/2008
Hi, I have read Hidden and Damaged (in that order). I finished Hidden in 3 days and Damaged in 2. I just want to say how amazingly written they are and I can’t wait to buy Cut. I admire what you do and would like to foster when I’m older. thanks to your books.
Poppy, 13, 16/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I received your book Damaged as a present, and once I started to read this fantastic book, I could not put it down, it only took me three nights. Then I bought Hidden which again only took me three days to read. What I would like to say is, what an amazing person you really are, and your family with all the support they have given you. Both books have made me cry and made me think much more about the life some children have to go through, and all the people involved to get them through such a terrible time. What I have taken from your book Damaged is that you can not judge a child by their actions. I am still quite young with no children but I do intend to have children within the next two years, and once they are older, I would seriously take some time out and think about becoming a carer. Thank you again for your insight into the life that you and many other carers have to go through. I am looking forward to your new book Cut. I am counting the days.
Lauren S, 16/06/2008
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged which took me all of one day to read. My heart aches for that little girl. It is a shame someone so innocent and beautiful would have their life damaged by a monster. In fact quite a few monsters. I can relate. I have been through a terrible marriage in which my children were affected and accusations made against my husband. I am now divorced and my 2 out of 4 children that were affected are in treatment. I have one that has not disclosed but I saw a lot of the signs as with Jodie. Not as severe but definitely there. Thank you for sharing your story and Cathy may god bless you for helping these children. I truly believe that it does not matter what type of house you live in or the kind of car you drive – what matters is the difference you make in the life of a child and you truly have. May you and your family and all the children you have fostered have a blessed and full life. Keep up the wonderful work you do.
Tammy, UK, 16/06/2008
Hi, Cathy, I just had to write to say I have just finished your book Hidden. It was fantastic, my aunty thought I would like it so gave it to me. I read it in 3 days, just couldn’t put it down. It breaks my heart to think of all those lost children out there, but at least with books like yours it can open people’s eyes. Anyway thanks again for a wonderful story I am off to buy Damaged now.
Sarah, Kettering, UK, 16/06/2008
I have just finished Hidden, I could hardly read through my tears! Like Damaged I read your book in two days! You are an amazing writer. The stories you tell are so sad and show what an amazing person you and also your children are, my heart goes out to Jodie and Tayo. I can’t wait for Cut to be out on the shelves!
Donna-Marie H, UK, 15/06/2008
Dear Cathy, We are so pleased with the 2 books you have published so far and looking forward to your next book, “Cut”. We just wish we could go and buy it now, the wait seems too long. Your writing is absolutely brilliant. Never before have I read anything that makes me want to stay up all night and just get to the end. We hope you will continue this good work and we will continue to read your good material. You are an inspirational woman and I have plans to become a foster parent after reading your heart-breaking stories. You are incredible. Good luck with the rest of your books, however I’m sure you won’t need it.
Amar and Sarina, Hayes, UK, 14/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just read your book “Damaged”. I feel compelled to send you this e mail to say what an inspirational person you are. I am deeply moved by your experience and wish you every happiness in the future. I hope in the future to become a foster carer. I currently work within early years and have a young son who is age 12. I cannot understand why some parents treat children in negative ways as I love and adore my child. Although I had him when I was 16 I have always put him first and care for him with all my heart. I guess that’s not possible for everyone, for whatever reasons. You truly are an amazing person, Thank you for recording and sharing your experiences.
Kerri H, Coventry, UK, 13/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just completed your book ‘Hidden’ and I can honestly say that at times I had streams of tears running down my face and at others I had goose-bumps all over. I think it is incredible how strong you are and how much courage you have. You are such an admirable person. Last year I also read ‘Damaged’ and I really was touched. I couldn’t and still can’t believe how hurtful and selfish people can be. My heart really does go out to all of those children who have suffered, but thankfully there are professionals and superb carers (like yourself) who are able and willing to help them. Often when people see me reading these types of books, they ask me why I like them, and my answer is that I like the outcome, that eventually many of them do live in a safe environment, are happy and do realise that they are loved. I would also like to mention that in my GCSE English paper last year all students had to write an essay about an admirable person and explain why. I chose you. You are such an incredible person, and I would love to foster when I am older, you have given me this inspiration and encouragement to do this. You have helped so many children, yet there are so many more out there un-recognised and being abused and I strongly believe that if everybody makes an effort (including the government to look at their immigration policies) much of this can be reduced. I wish more people have a positive and determined attitude. Your work can never be valued enough. Thank-you, and I look forward to reading your books which are coming out soon. Best Wishes,
Hannah, 17, Milton Keynes, UK, 13/06/2008
I started to read “Damaged” one night while my husband was away and stayed up all night reading it. I could not put it down. As I got to within a few pages of the end I was worried about the outcome and thought the last few pages would be a “happy ending”. I was gutted to hear of poor Jodie and her life as it will be. What a remarkable, well written story….I wish you both well.
Kath B, 13/06/2008
Dear Cathy, you say – I hope that in some way (through writing) I can raise public awareness, and improve the system, and reading the comments on the blog, I see that some are from foster carers, social workers, and people considering this type of work. These people are reading, learning, and passing on what children like Jodie and Tayo have experienced, so you are changing the way people view abuse and making them more aware. These people will take this knowledge into their own work and practice, so through them you are changing the system. Even I, am seriously considering social work now, and know people who want to foster, I have thought about it for several years.
M.C, UK, 11/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished your book Damaged, words cannot describe how upset I have been over the past few days to think that a child can survive so much pain. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel which was you, Cathy, and I do hope that you are very proud of yourself. I was glad to read that you continued fostering as you have so much to offer these children. Thank you
Hayley, UK, 11/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden. I read Damaged while on holiday in May and then bought Hidden on my return. I read it within days. You are a remarkable woman whom I can tell has helped so many children. They are lucky to have had you in their lives. Both books moved me to tears but I just couldn’t put them down. I do hope both Jodie and Tayo are now doing well. I can’t wait for your next book.
Sarah, Cumbria. UK, 11/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished Hidden, it was fantastic. I sat by the pool on my hols and read it in two days. I could not put it down, like Damaged. I can’t wait for Cut to come out
Tracey P, 10/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading you book Hidden. I had been looking for it everywhere since it came out. It had sold out in most shops and I got out bid a few times on eBay. It was without doubt a brill read, just as good as Damaged. I can not wait for Cut to hit the shops so I can read that too. You are without doubt a wonderful woman who we can look up to. Many thanks for sharing your life with us.
Daniel H, Wirral, UK, 09/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I’m writing to you about my girlfriend she has had a very bad childhood but has found so much comfort in reading your books. You have been an inspiration to her to the point where she wants to be a foster carer later on in life and has gone to college to gain the required qualifications to do this. Keep up the great work and best regards,
Thomas B, Suffolk, UK, 09/06/2008
I just have to say one word – fantastic!!
Jacqui C, UK, 09/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have only had Damaged for 3 days and have already finished it, I couldn’t put it down!!! I felt every emotion you portrayed throughout your experience with Jodie. It was heartrending at times, but as Jodie progressed that little bit further each time, I felt a sense of relief. You are a very inspirational lady of whom I cannot have enough respect for. The realisation of events that Jodie experienced has been an eye-opener, it’s hard to think that she may not be the only one. I really do hope she is well, without your help, she wouldn’t be where she is today. I thank you dearly for producing such a magnificent account
Miss T Hunter, 09/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have read your books “Damaged and Hidden”. I am glad God sent you and your family to help the children you have fostered over the years. Thank you for writing these books so the world can see the horror that these children have lived through. I can’t begin to tell you how these books have touched me. By reading them I was hoping they would help to unlock my memories so I can have some kind of closure from the sexual and physical abuse from a family member that I went through as a child. But I guess those memories are locked away for a reason. I look forward to reading your next book.
Carol, Australia 09/06/2008
Dear Cathy, Your book “Damaged” was loaned to me by a work colleague. I must admit that I normally shy away from any books relating to abuse, however I couldn’t put this down. As a practitioner in the field of child protection, I felt so in tune with your experience of professionals who pay lip service to cases such as Jodie’s. The ease with which I could read and understand your story is not only a testament to your writing abilities but to you as a genuine person who clearly wants to offer such a vital, worthwhile service to those most in need of the best start in life. I am so pleased to have read your book and feel inspired to be even better in the work I do. Thank you for having the courage to share your experiences, both good and bad and I hope to read your other books very soon.
Helen W. UK, 09/06/2008
I have just finished reading “Damaged” and must congratulate you on having written a wonderful account of your time caring for Jodie. I found the story compelling reading and was unable to put it down until I had finished it. I applaud your patience while dealing with the Social Services and can only imagine the frustrations of “the system” that made trying to help Jodie your priority if not theirs! Thank you and your children for the marvellous care and love you all showed her and I can only hope her future is much happier than her past!
Julia S, UK, 07/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read both of your books and found them both to be so sad. How I read them through the tears I will never know. I have passed them around my family to read and so far not one dry eye. The only thing I get is “when is the next one out and can I read it first”. You are a brilliant woman and you must also be very proud of you children as they have to go through this with you. You really are a walking angel and you should be very proud of yourself. I want to thank you for opening our eyes to what happens around us, you’re an inspiration to many. Thank you and keep up the fantastic work. Can’t wait to read the next book.
Diane, UK, 06/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I just want to say thanks for the patience that you have and the understanding you have given these children. I also think that there ought to be more people like you. I have recently read both Hidden and Damaged. At the end of Hidden I was really happy for Tayo. In Damaged, I can’t even begin to comprehend how someone can do that to their own flesh and blood. I am looking forward to reading your next book Cut. I admire you for your strength and courage to help these children. Thank you once more for giving these children a second chance at life. Without you god only knows what would have happened.
Paula, U.K, 06/06/2008
I would really just like to say how much I enjoyed (is that the correct term to use, one is not too sure) reading both “Damaged” and “Hidden”. Not only were they very well written, but easy to read. “Damaged” just moved me to tears. It upsets me immensely to hear how someone could subject a child to any form of abuse, let alone what poor ‘Jodie’ had to endure and poor little ‘Tayo’. You are a truly remarkable woman, it takes a special kind of person to do what you do (how you switch off when a child leaves your care is anybody’s guess). I look forward to reading your next book, and hearing about any updates you have on Tayo and Jodie. Kindest Regards
Julie P, Suffolk, UK, 06/06/2008
Hi Cathy…what a book! I was transfixed from start to finish. ‘Damaged’ is a real insight into the cruelty of our world to these children. As a special needs teacher I was able to identify some problems in pupils which I could not see through or understand. I found your book very educational in all aspects and realise the need to listen and be patient to achieve results. The world needs more people like you. You have brought out the better in me in this case and I shall put it to practice! I understand more now. Thanks Cathy. I’m looking forward to reading another of your books….my next mission when I am out shopping!
Ali, Northern Ireland, UK, 06/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I just had to email you and inform you of my overwhelming emotions after reading ‘Hidden’! You are an unbelievable woman Cathy! I am going to my local bookstore to buy a copy of ‘Damaged’ as I have heard so many good things about it! Well done!
Mario P, 06/06/2008
I have just finished reading Damaged and I am going to start Hidden later today. I found the book very compelling and disturbing at the same time. My eldest daughter is the same age as Jodie and it is heart breaking to even try to comprehend what she went through. I am going back to college to train as a teaching assistant and would like to work with children such as Jodie, like the teaching assistant you describe in your book. When my youngest child is older I have also been considering fostering and your book has given me the push to decide that I definitely want to go ahead. I think society owes people like yourself so much and I hope there will always be someone out there to help those so desperately in need of love and support.
Suzanne L, Cheshire, UK, 06/06/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your second book ‘Hidden’ and once again I couldn’t put it down. I just can’t believe that Tayo’s mother treated him like that, it’s so sad. I have two boys of my own and my heart went out to that young boy. I am so happy with the ending and I was crying all through the last bit. I still keep thinking of other children in the same position, working in those factories and what their lives must be like. When you have children of your own and you realise that they have so much and all the love you give them, you feel so sorry for the ones that don’t. I admire you, you really are fantastic. You give these children so much and the rewards can be amazing. Thank you for giving us your stories, they’re incredible and so are you. I hope Tayo has a great life ahead of him. Lots of thanks
Clare T, UK, 06/06/2008
Cathy! Thanks… for opening my eyes. Life goes by so quickly – my children have grown before my eyes, seasons change, Christmases come and go, then one day while in a bookshop I spotted Damaged, and my life stood still for two days. I could not put this book down. My heart was heavy and I felt very unsettled for a couple of days afterwards. This book will never be forgotten in my heart it touched my soul. Back at the book shop the following week I found Hidden. I am now waiting for the next one. I don’t think there are words that can describe the work you are doing! You are one of a kind.
Judy, NSW, Australia, 05/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read both of your books, and must say what a truly amazing person you are. I just finished reading Damaged, and my heart broke for this little girl, and the childhood she lost at the hands of such monsters. Not long after I finished reading it, I turned on the evening news and a big paedophile ring had been exposed. Four of those were teachers and one was the headmaster of a primary school. It truly disgusts me that there are people out there who can do this. I am so happy to read Jodie’s life has had a positive turn, and thank goodness you were there to help her. You have inspired me to think I may be able to help in some way with neglected children. Thank you.
Kristina C, 05/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden. What a lovely young man Tayo is. I cried buckets at the end. I just want to say you are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for sharing your world with us.
Alex, UK, 05/06/2008
I’ve just finished reading “Damaged”. I opened the first page at 8 in the morning, and abandoned anything else until I finished it at 4 pm. I’m terrified of how cruel people could be to their own children, but so grateful that there are people out there like you. I was worried when at one part you said you won’t foster anymore, but so relieved when you decided to keep fostering. You are a bright light shining through the darkness of this world. Thank you.
Gabriela, 19, Jakarta, Indonesia, 04/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged. It is the first book I have read in a long time and I finished it in two days, it was fantastic. I think you are an angel in disguise to the children you look after. Can’t wait to read your next book.
Jackie, London, UK, 04/06/2008
I have just finished reading ‘Hidden’ – Cathy you are a true inspiration. The time and effort you put in is remarkable. There should be more people in this world like you. Tayo’s story is wonderful and such a happy ending. I read ‘Damaged’ last year and, like Hidden, read it within 2 days. Fantastic. Can’t wait to read ‘Cut’.
Rhia, Hampshire, UK, 04/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged, you and your family are amazing. I have also read Hidden and I cringe at what those children went through, as I look upon my happy, loved and unspoiled 2 year old son. I don’t understand how a parent can put their child through such pain. I admire your courage, your love, and support. Thank you for making people aware of what is going on around us. As horrific as it may be to read, this is the only way that, hopefully, things will change. I am glad that, as in Jodie’s letter (which brought me to tears), the children find a way to show you that they appreciate your help. Please pass on my admiration to Adrian, Paula and Lucy. They too have played a huge role in helping these children. Lastly, I am glad you did not give up fostering after Jodie.
Kellie, 25, Victoria, Australia, 04/06/2008
Dear Cathy, What a remarkable woman you are. I have finished reading Damaged; this is one story that really gets to your heart. After I had finished reading your book, I sat quietly for a while trying to understand how someone would be able to do this to their own child. We expect our parents to care and provide for us. Jodie is a very lucky girl to have found someone as caring and loving as you and your family. Give Jodie a big hello from me, she has another friend now.
Lorraine, Australia, 04/06/2008
All I have to say about these books are that they are amazing, I am 18 years old and refuse to read anything except Cathy’s books. They just prove that there are amazing people out there and I look up to them all.
Janine, 18, UK, 03/06/2008
Hello Cathy, Hidden is the first true story I have read and I feel that as a person I have increased my knowledge. I have recently applied to carry out some voluntary work for Child Line and Samaritans. I will be reading Damaged next. I feel that social workers and foster parents don’t get the recognition they deserve. Thank you so much for the inspiration.
J, UK, 03/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve just finished reading Hidden. I have also read Damaged. I have to say you do an amazing job looking after and caring for these children. Both your books reduced me to tears (tears of joy for Tayo). It really is good to see that there are people out there who are willing to give all their time and love to help these children. Reading your books has really made me think about fostering. After I’ve settled down with my partner and finished having our own family it would be nice to think I could help children who are in need of some loving. Looking forward to your next book. Keep up the good work you and your family.
Kirsty, 23, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, 03/06/2008
Cathy, I finished reading Hidden last night and am looking forward to reading Damaged. Your books tell the stories of children who have lived in a nightmare world. You have become a voice. And I am overwhelmed with admiration for the work that both you and Social Services do. Sadly there are thousands still out here, still waiting, still hoping. Keep up the good work.
M.C., UK, 03/06/2008
Hi Cathy, Just wanted to say your books are inspiring & emotional, once opened I am unable to put it down. The work you do is amazing and inspires me. You and your family really are incredible and I am sure the children you have helped remember you for eternity. Tayo’s story was wonderful to hear, so many children do not get the chance of happiness that Tayo was fortunate to have. As a supervising social worker for people like yourself I appreciate how hard your job is and just what is involved. Unfortunately sometimes the work foster carers do to help children in their care can go unnoticed, and your books reflect the issues within Local Authorities very well. I wish you well and cannot wait to read your next book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do with our precious children of the world.
Sarah D, West Midlands, UK, 02/06/2008
I’ve just finished reading Damaged after I came across it by accident. My mum used to belong to a book club and was sent this book as the editor’s choice. I asked my mum if I could read it but she said no because she thought it would be to heartbreak for a 13 yr old. But I took it any way and read it in 2 days. I thought it was amazing and am now currently begging my mum 2 buy me Hidden. Keep up the good work Cathy
Hannah J, 13, Wales, UK, 02/06/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve just finished Hidden and I cried, I couldn’t believe what some mothers put their kids through. I have 3 kids aged 8, 7, 2 and I want what’s best for them. I grew up in the 80s with a drunken abusive father. People should have to have a license to have kids and be sterilised if they don’t make the grade. It would save a lot of suffering for the children! Thank god for people like you Cathy. I’ve read Damaged as well and couldn’t put that down. My kids call me bookworm (lol). I’m looking forward to your next book. Keep up the good work!
Sharron, UK, 01/06/2008
Oh Cathy, I’ve just finished reading ‘Hidden’. I cried at the final farewell. I am so looking forward to reading more of your books, in fact I’m itching to get to Asda to buy the next one! Your own children must surely be the greatest. Pease say ‘Hi’ to Adrian, Lucy & Paula. I consider my childhood to having been ‘dragged up’ rather than raised. We lived on a very rough council estate in the South East but nothing I endured comes anywhere near the problems a lot of kids endure. My heart goes out to Tayo….bless him. How much different his life would have been had he not been snatched by his mother. Why did she take him in the first place is what I find hard to comprehend – she never looked after him as a young child so why take him when he is 5 years old? Anyway Cathy thanks for a brilliant book. I’m off to Asda!
Lilly, Bournemouth, UK, 01/06/2008
I have just finished ‘Hidden’. I’ve read both books and cried at both of them. I just wanted 2 say I think you’re such an amazing person for helping all these children and just being who you are. After reading ‘Damaged’ I decided that that is the path I would like to go down. I admire you so much.
Rebecca F, UK, 31/05/2008
Cathy, I just finished reading Damaged and I admire your journey with Jodie. I am a teacher at a private school for students with mental health/behaviour issues, substance abuse problems, and some students who are developmentally delayed. Working with these students for the school day can be extremely trying, so I applaud your dedication to fostering. I appreciate your honesty about how trying it could be at times to work with Jodie, and also you willingness to share it with everyone. I was glad to read at the end that Jodie is making progress at High Oaks and that you and your family still have a relationship with her. This world would be a better place if there were more people with your dedication and heart.
Kristin, Connecticut, US, 30/05/2008
Hi Cathy, My Auntie lent me your book ‘Hidden’ and once I started to read it I couldn’t put it down. After I finished I felt compelled to read the first book ‘Damaged’. I ordered it off Amazon and it arrived this morning. It is now 22:51 same day and I have just finished reading it. I was saddened by this story throughout the book and eventually when it was the letter extract I cried. It was so sad that a depressed child could think of writing a letter so moving. I am so relieved it worked out for her in the end.
James C, UK, 30/05/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden. What a fantastic story! I feel that the best part of this fabulous story was the ending! I have also started to read your other book Damaged. I have only read two chapters and I have not been able to put it down. Your books have almost had me in tears. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait for the next book.
Luke, 15, Rochdale, UK, 30/05/2008
I just wanted to tell you how inspiring I found your two books Damaged and Hidden. I found myself crying one minute and cheering the next when a small breakthrough was made. I started fostering two years ago and have now adopted two boys. My eldest son was nearly 4 when we started to foster him and he was a very angry and confused little boy. He couldn’t really speak except for some rather choice words! I was lucky enough to foster through an agency which runs concurrent planning. This means that the birth parent has regular contact with their child whilst they are “helped” by the team to overcome their problems. It hasn’t been an easy time but I wouldn’t change a minute of it and now that the boys have settled down I am looking forward to fostering again next year. I am looking forward to reading your next book.
Alison, Manchester, UK, 29/05/2008
Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden, a few minutes ago. I loved the book and have also read Damaged. I can’t wait for your next one to be published and I hope that you keep on writing for a long time. You are doing an amazing job and you’re admired my millions of people. Thank you,
Jo, UK, 28/05/2008
Dear Cathy, Having read Hidden and being transfixed by it I had to read Damaged and have just finished it. I had to write and say what wonderful books they are. They give an insight into a dreadful world which many people would be totally unaware of if it weren’t for people like you who in many ways certainly made me feel very humble. In a world where we moan about weather, money, politics and who knows what, this is blown into insignificance when children like the ones in the books have been treated in the way they have. I have nothing but admiration for the work you do and letting us in by means of your writing.
Keith T, Yorkshire, 27/05/2008
Thank you so much for writing Hidden, although I cried I was totally gripped. I also read Damaged which broke my heart. If there’s a way I can ever help any child I would as a mother of six a single parent and a grandmother.
Pauline, UK, 27/05/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book ‘Damaged’, after a solid 2 days reading. I thought it was absolutely heart breaking. It moved me to tears. I am only 16 and have never read such heartrending words. You are an amazing woman to carry on fostering after what seemed like an ordeal for you as well as Jodie. I am part way through reading your other book ‘Hidden’ which I bought yesterday and I cannot put it down. Well done for having the courage to allow these children into your home and looking after them as if they were your own. You have really inspired me. Keep up the good work and I shall definitely be buying any of your future books.
Jordan F, 16, Leicester, UK, 27/05/2008
Dear Cathy I have just finished reading Hidden. What a fantastic ending! It’s a shame they don’t always end like that. I have also read your other book about Jodie. Thank god there are people like you out there. Your books have had me in tears. Keep up the good work. I will look out for your next book.
Bonnie, UK, 26/05/2008
Just finished reading Hidden. It is a very powerful book and it made me cry. I am going to lend the book to my mum as she has just finished reading Damaged
Sue H, UK, 26/05/2008
Hi Cathy, I think it’s remarkable that you manage to write these books and look after the children that come in to your care, you’re a true inspiration. I have read both Damaged and Hidden. I was completely hooked and was unable to put them down. I must admit both reduced me to tears, it’s so sad that situations like ‘Jodie’s’ and “Tayo’s” happen and are not always recognised. I am looking forward to your next book ‘Cut.’ You’re doing such a fantastic job, I can only imagine the happiness it gives you to see the change in the lives of those that are in your care.
Sharn, UK, 26/05/2008
I’ve just finished reading Hidden, and what a story! It made such a change that the ending was so nice!! I’m glad people like you are there to reach out to abused children. I dread to think what those with no one must go through. It makes you realise just how lucky you are. I read the update on how Jodie was doing, are you going to be doing an update on Tayo soon? I’d love to read how he’s getting on. Thank you for taking the time out of your obviously very hectic lifestyle to open up our eyes as to what goes on behind closed doors.
Maria, Nottinghamshire, UK, 26/05/2008
CG: Thanks, Maria. Both Jodie and Tayo are still doing very well, and I shall be adding an update on my website about their progress later in the year. Best wishes, Cathy.
Dear Cathy, I can tell you that I am not cursing myself for having gone to Tesco on a rainy day, hoping to buy vegetables, and ending up buying Hidden. A fascinating read and insight into you’re truly selfless life and the life of poor Tayo. I am sure that the world is balanced against evil forces by the very presence of people like you who are God sent. Keep up the great work. I hope you and your family are adequately rewarded by the Almighty.
Raghu, Gwent, UK, 25/05/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve just read ‘Hidden’ in two days. I’m a first year social work student. Your story is truly inspirational and a wonderful chance to hear the positive side of social work. I am learning more from your books than any text book! Thank you,
Jacqui, UK, 25/05/2008
Hello Cathy, you are truly amazing. I have just finished reading hidden. When I picked it up I could not put it down, its one truly amazing story. I have also read Damaged which is another one of your great stories. You have some heart to take these children and then write about them. I know I couldn’t do what have done. I can honestly say that it is the first time I have cried with tears of joy at such an amazing ending (Hidden). I’m so glad you are writing more books. I have never picked a book up before and not been able to put it down. You are the first and I hope to enjoy many more of your stories in the future. Thank you Cathy your are truly amazing, a fantastic author and a truly amazing person.
Laura W, 20, Nottingham, UK, 24/05/2008
Hi Cathy, I read Damaged and have just finished reading Hidden. The books are amazing and an inspiration. It gives a message of hope that there is life after abuse. I too was in care with my sisters after we had suffered 11yrs of abuse from my father. I was the eldest and one day I told an adult some of the stuff my dad did, but not all. Then one day me and my sisters were at school, just before Christmas in 1989, and the social services took us into care. I was 11 and I remember that first Christmas in care. When I came downstairs there were all these presents for me and I did not go to open them until my foster mum said they were for us. When we were at home we never had Christmas or birthdays. I remember crying tears of joy as my foster mum explained that I was not bad and that Father Christmas had been saving them for me until he could get them to us. Without the help and understanding of my foster parents I would not be the person I am today. They taught me so much, some of which I didn’t appreciate at the time, but as I grew I knew they loved me. When I was naughty or lied or stole they punished me but that was because they loved me. They never gave up on me even though I know I was difficult. I still keep in touch with my foster parents. I now have children of my own and I am married. I know I could never be like my dad or my mum who just run off and left us when we were young. I just want to say thank you Cathy because people like you really do make a difference in this world.
Joanne, UK, 24/05/2008
Hi, just a quick note to let you know how touched I was reading your book Damaged. I cried my eyes out throughout the book and hope those people “rot in hell”. Great to hear that Jodie is progressing, you did a fantastic job. I will go to town tomorrow and purchase Hidden, can’t wait!!
Michele, Tasmania, Australia, 24/05/2008
When I read “Damaged” I sent you a message which was full of admiration. Having just read “Hidden” I echo those sentiments, but this time my admiration goes to Tayo for his strength of character and resolve. It just goes to show that when we think children are shutting out the horrors of their lives by living in a fantasy world they may be telling the truth. I was particularly moved when Tayo referred to you as his “family” – it shows how you and your children make the foster children feel “one of you”. I was shocked to learn about child labour in modern Britain although I can understand that if there is no record of the child in the first place then there is little the authorities can do to help them. It is essential that if anyone suspects this kind of thing they should never turn a blind eye – report it. Once again, a moving account and one which I shall remember for years to come. To say thanks for all that you do for young people I am sending a cheque off to the NSPCC. It isn’t a lot but it can go some way to making a difference to a child somewhere. God bless you Cathy, your family and all those that you have helped. Kind regards
Paul M, UK, 23/05/2008
CG: Thank you, Paul, that’s very generous and much appreciated. Best wishes. Cathy
I have just read your Hidden book in two days. I found it excellent. It was the first book of yours that I’ve read. I must admit I was addicted. It was a fantastic story of being a foster parent I think you deserve the best for all the love that you have given to children over the years I am going to purchase more of your books. Keep up the good work
Sharon, Cheshire, UK, 23/05/2008
Hello, I just wanted to tell u, that you’re such a beautiful person. I’ve read your two books Damaged and Hidden. Both of them truly heartbreaking and soul lifting. I hope one day I achieve something half as great as you in my life time. You’re the type of person that makes this world that bit better, someone for people to look up to for what really matters. Thank you for your inspiration and hope:) I hope one day I’ll get my book published – poems I’ve written over the years of my own and others experiences… Maybe one day you’ll be reading my book lol. I’ve never heard of such a cute kid… Tayo was just so adorable to read about!
Ellis, UK, 23/05/2008
Hi ya Cathy, I admire the work you do. My sisters were placed in foster care but I was lucky enough to be placed with my father. Minty sounds a bit like my mother. I have not yet read damaged but from reading the comments you have had I cannot wait to. You are a fabulous woman; it takes a very kind and open woman to take on someone else’s child. You are great!!! Best wishes
Gemma, South Wales, UK, 23/05/2008