Why are you involved in the advisory group?
As someone who has care experience, I feel it is important for me to help others in a similar situation to have a better experience than I did. By being part of the advisory group with Become, it gives me an appropriate platform to share my experiences, both good and bad, to better the care system.
What do you do at the minute?
I am currently finishing a BA(Hons) Interior Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement to date is that I have carried on with my studies through all the adversity that I have endured. And that I am part of positive change within the care system with Become.
What change do you want to see?
There is a lot I would like to see changed. Regarding the care system, I would like there to be more effort put into ‘prevention’ than ‘cure’ I feel that as soon as a child is known to social services, the individual should have access to every type of support available, including CAMHS. Children and young people are left without correct support and interaction with professionals and appropriate foster carers etc. When they come to leaving care, these young people are completely bombarded with real adult life, that they have had no preparation for. They are often left in poverty and many experience homelessness. This should NEVER happen. By giving children and young people in care access to every type of support available as soon as possible then, the difficulties and issues they face when transitioning from ‘looked after’ to ‘care leaver’ and also at later points in their lives, will less damaging overall. They will have the tools to deal with whatever comes their way.
A lot of care leavers while they are young refuse mental health services. I feel there should be quick and unfettered access to quality mental health services with no time limit for adults with care experience.
Also, I think that there should no longer be huge disparities between local authorities’ policies on what people in care are entitled to. Although the law covers most things, it leaves room for local authorities to dictate how generous or not local authorities want to be. I think that it should be one way for all care experienced people. We all need, we are all as valid as each other and the differing treatment based on where you ended up going into care isn’t fair.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy doing anything creative. I draw portraits using charcoal, in my spare time. I enjoy going to art galleries and museums and I enjoy watching documentaries of all kinds. I also swim as much as I can.
What do you think is an interesting fact about you?
I have a staff cross bullmastiff dog called Honey.