From Abusing Drugs to Caring for Others:
An interview with Stella Garner from Team Family
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a single mum of two and I have been living in Torquay for 10 years. As a child I went to church with my mum several times, as she was a Christian, however, it did not interest me. My life choices led to me becoming a teenage mum at the age of 16. Living in the wrong environment and struggling with the sudden fact my world had changed so much caused me to become a drug addict, angry, withdrawn and isolated.
How did you become a Christian?
I had had enough and prayed; I cried out to Jesus with a prayer I had heard somewhere before. Suddenly I could see that there was more to life and that my daughter was really important. I found a church and stopped the drugs. I also had to change some of my friendship groups. Later I had a holiday in Torquay and felt the need to move here. Someone anonymously dropped enough money through the door for us to move down and to have the chance for a new life in Torquay.
I joined Riviera Life Church, they have been such a great support in every area of my life. They became my friends and family. This year I joined St Mary Magdalene Church where I am continuing to grow and help out with the children’s work.
What are you most passionate about?
Children! We are responsible for guiding, equipping and releasing the gifts that are already within children. Seeing them grow to understand their identity and purpose by knowing who they are in Jesus. Children and families in the bay are in need of a safe fun and life-giving place to come to. This is what I am trying to do with Team Family.
What is Team Family?
I began Team Family two years ago and we lead groups in Torquay for families on Monday and Wednesday mornings. We provide a safe, fun and developmental environment for the children so they can grow. We do this through play, craft, and music time.
Over the last two years we have had an average of 50 families per week attend and have connections with over 98 families. We have had single parents, carers, teens and people who are struggling in many ways come to us and we have had the privilege of seeing these families grow and transform.
Starting next term we will also be working alongside Sure Start and Family Learning Torbay.
You can get in touch with Stella and Team Family here: