Marjon, 42

I'd like to nominate my friend Francis for being a lifesaver in difficult times. I used to live in a part of the city that could best be described as Nappy Valley. My partner and I had moved to that area in the hopes of starting a family. After a few years, it became apparent that children weren’t in the cards for us. We were very sad. Everywhere we went in the neighbourhood, we saw pregnant women, pushcarts with babies, children playing in the streets. Our house was empty.

I felt lost, lonely and isolated in my own neighbourhood. Until I met Francis. Francis is a single mother to a lovely boy who was born with spina bifida. Francis showed me the unglamorous side of motherhood. She was a mother who didn’t pretend life was all rosy and who listened to my story. Thanks to her, I gained a new perspective to my situation: That motherhood isn’t necessarily the dream job it seems to be, and mothers aren’t always enviable. It is good to have a friend as honest and open as she is. I wish everybody had a Francis.