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Mother and daughter from Salford reunited during coronavirus pandemic

1 June, 2020

A woman has been reunited with her long-lost mother after years of no contact thanks to a local Salford social worker and Salford-based housing association, Salix Homes.

Donna Cousins, age 46 and mother of two, had been searching for her mother after losing contact eight years ago.

Donna’s mother had moved from the family home into new accommodation in 1997 and they lost contact shortly after when her mother was moved into a homeless scheme.

Donna, who works in customer service and also runs her own Caribbean food business said, “After losing contact with my mother many years ago, we have been searching for her for almost a decade. I had been contacted by the police nine years ago when my mother had been checked into hospital for a broken hip and was told she was had been moved from here into an extra care scheme in the Broughton area, so I began to contact local associations and schemes based here in Salford in the hope of making contact.”

One of the housing associations Donna contacted was Salford-based association, Salix Homes, however data protection laws meant the organisation were unable to confirm her mother’s location.

Donna continued, “With the coronavirus pandemic affecting thousands of people across the UK, with those over the age of 70 most at risk, I was determined to pick up my search to check my mother was safe and being looked after.”

Ellie Morley who works in the IT department at Salix Homes happened to come across the email from Donna.

Ellie said, “We received an email into a mailbox which is usually for tenants with login issues. The email was from a lady trying to trace her mother who she had lost contact with many years ago. She had tried all avenues but knew she was last known to be living in Broughton.

“She knew that Data Protection meant we couldn’t give her any details, but she wanted to see if we could help in anyway. I wanted to ensure this request was dealt with so decided to have a look what I could find out.”

Ellie managed to find out that Donna’s mother was a former tenant and had been moved into a care home.  She decided to contact the social worker on file, Paula St-John and after emailing Paula, it became clear that they had also been trying to track down the daughter for many years unsuccessfully.

 Social worker, Paula St-John said: “Working with Ellie at Salix Homes to reunite Donna with her Mum, following a period of eight years in which one did not know where the other was, will genuinely be the highlight of my year! To speak with Donna about her Mum was one of those moments that just keep you going in these really difficult times. What an absolute privilege!”

Sue Sutton, Chief Operations Officer at Salix Homes, said, “The story of Donna being reunited with her mother thanks to a local support worker and a Salix Homes staff member, is such a welcome heart-warming story during these hard times. We’re very proud of Ellie using her initiative and it just goes to show what can be achieved when people go above and beyond to help others.”