Francesca may look like any other cute six-year-old, but the smiles hide years of pain, frustration and isolation for her and her family.
Francesca has autism.
Her violent behaviour at home and at school, because of her inability to express herself, led her desperate parents, Karen and Ben, to turn to Norwood.
Karen says: "When Francesca was diagnosed, I felt like a balloon that had been deflated. It was crushing to realise that our child was going to have many challenges in life."
But Karen was facing her own challenges too.
"Friends would talk about Francesca behind my back. It made me feel really alone. I was also very depressed because I lost my friend to cancer and we’d become very close because her child had autism too."
When Karen joined Norwood’s Rainbow Group, a support group for parents of children with special educational needs and disability, it gave her a new beginning.
"Having one-and-a-half hours each week to talk to other people in a similar situation and see their strength in difficult times, helps enormously.
"It’s made me feel more secure and positive, and given me the confidence to fight for the support that Francesca needs. The thing I enjoy most is the camaraderie and support. We cry together, we laugh together. I don’t know how I’d have made it through the last few years without it."
Karen knows there’ll be tough times ahead but she’s determined to stay positive.
"I just want my daughter to be the best Francesca she can be and the happiest."
Norwood recognises that the issues facing the children and families we support – be it autism, learning disability or mental health problems – aren't going to go away.
This is why we have a diverse range of professionals on board, offering children and their families a wide variety of support that they can access any time they want. We need families to know that when they reach out to us, we'll be there – whenever and however they need us.
Our community is counting on us and Norwood refuses to let anyone down. But we need your support. We must raise £12 million every year in voluntary donations to deliver our services – £2 million of which is spent on our Children and Families Service, which receives only minimal government support.
These services rely entirely on the generosity of people like you, so we need you to give as much as you can. It's that simple.
Your donation could have a huge impact this Rosh Hashanah.