"When I had my son, it made me realise that if I didn't want my son to go through what I went through, I had to change my ways and show him the love and affection I never had."
"As a child I came from an abusive alcoholic family. I was never shown what good morals and values were, and was never given enough love and support to encourage me to realise my potential and progress through education to gain qualifications to make a life for myself.
"For a long time from the age of 12 onwards, I became very rebellious and turned down a wrong path because of the life I had. I didn't believe I deserved or couldn't do anything better with my life. When I was 15, I got put into residential care which was the lowest point in my life, which just made my behaviour much worse. When I was 18, I fell pregnant with my little boy and obviously not having the family support or guidance made it a scary time.
"When I had my son, it made me realise that if I didn't want my son to go through what I went through, I had to change my ways and show him the love and affection I never had. That's when I decided to go to college to do social care as I wanted to use my past experiences to help other people who have been in or are in the same position I was. Also a big reason in how I managed to change my behaviour is understanding it through doing things like psychology etc through my course but also through REACTs course of peer mentoring which taught me about who I was as a person and what I wanted from life.
"Having REACT as a support network, taking part in courses and being involved in peer education opportunities has helped me gain a healthier thought process. I now have a better outlook on life for myself and my son."
Anne was a university lecturer in child psychology and development - subjects which stood her in good stead for looking after her three grandchildren when she became their sole carer.
"My son and daughter both have learning difficulties," she explains, "things that you and I would take for granted, for example, planning a Sunday dinner, is really difficult for them. Two of the grandchildren also have a disability. This means a lot of doctors appointments and hospital visits for them, which my own children found really difficult to plan."
In 2005, Anne became the carer for her daughter's girl, and the following year she got a phone call from her son saying he was finding it difficult to cope with his two children.
Seven years on, she has had to give up her job so that she can care full time for her three grandchildren who are all getting on fine. Anne explains: "It's not what you expect your life to be, caring for your grandchildren, being back at the school gates and things. It's like a bolt out the blue. You know things aren't going well but you don't think you'll be the sole carer."
As if she wasn't busy enough Anne set up the West Dunbartonshire Kinship Carers Support Group where people in a similar situation meet up every few weeks. "It's great to have that," she says, "and the support of friends. My mother, who's in her eighties, has been so supportive. It's not easy, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
"It's not what you expect your life to be, caring for your grandchildren, being back at the school gates and things. It's like a bolt out the blue."
Graeme became a single dad of a new born baby and 15-month-old girl after his partner left him. He talked about being up during the night with one child, then the other, getting no sleep at all, to the point he felt sleep deprived.
Graeme started to lose weight, felt depressed and was becoming a shadow of his former self. He said he was feeling really low and asked his health visitor for help.
He managed to move closer to his family and was provided with a few hours childcare to give him a break for a wee while. Graeme found these couple of hours break made all the difference.
He then joined the dads group at Midlothian Sure Start which has made a positive difference for himself and his girls. He finds attending the group really helpful, giving him the opportunity to meet new people and know you are not the only one going through the same things.
"Attending the group is really helpful and gives me the opportunity to meet new people and know I am not the only one going through the same things."
Thomas's story - Dads Rock
"I set up Scotland's first free musical playgroup for Dads and their kids, called Dads Rock along with another local dad as we both had young kids, and we realised there was nowhere to go that was just for dads. I remembered when my son was born that I wanted to speak to other fathers, but found it hard to find them in the right setting.
"Myself and David (the other founder) love music and knew that our kids got a lot from music also so were keen to tie it into a musical theme. The name is also a play on words, as we wanted the playgroup to be a solid base for dads, as well as somewhere to have fun.
"It is a positive and friendly environment for kids and dads. We're based in the Sighthill area of Edinburgh and have a really great mix of local dads. We are also looking to expand into the Granton area of Edinburgh."
Dads Rock is part of Fathers Network Scotland. www.Fathersnetworkscotland.org.uk