“The future is good”: helping care experienced young people get the support they need

Photo of Kelly Corcoran outside
Kelly Corcoran - Digital Communications Officer
Friday 26 April 2024
Portrait of Angharad in blue t-shirt standing in the middle of a high street

Angharad’s challenging childhood took a huge toll on her mental health. But with support from Action for Children, she’s building a safer and happier future.

Please note this blog contains mentions of suicide and depression.

Angharad grew up in care. And like a lot of children in care, her childhood had a huge impact on her mental health. She was just two years old when her and her siblings were taken into foster care after suffering abuse and neglect at home. Those early experiences had a lasting impact on Angharad.

After moving between foster families, she eventually found a loving home and foster carers who she came to call Mum and Dad.

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At 18, she moved into a rented house to gain independence and take on the next chapter in her life. But sadly, this exciting milestone took a difficult turn. The depression and anxiety Angharad suffered from a young age came rushing back.

When reflecting on that time, Angharad said: “I lived on my own and one day locked myself in the house for three weeks and wouldn’t come out. The phone would be ringing, and I wouldn’t answer it."

The doctors were quite surprised how long it took me to become depressed after all I’d been through. After all that time, I just lost my strength. I became so depressed; I didn’t want to live any more.

Getting support

Luckily, Angharad knew something wasn’t right and that she needed to get help.

She was referred to Action for Children’s Skills for Living service – an emotional and social wellbeing service for young people leaving care. She was assigned a support worker who she met regularly to give her the space and support to talk openly. She also joined a group where she could speak to other care experienced young people about their experiences with mental health.

I had this group of people who just opened their arms and helped me. They’ve made me understand that there is a reason for living.

The group helped Angharad build her resilience, improve her mental wellbeing, and adapt to the challenges of independent living.

Angharad leaning against a wall smiling looking to the side

Becoming a Young Ambassador

The support Action for Children gave Angharad led her to become an Action for Children Young Ambassador. Since then, she’s been making a huge difference for other young people, children in care, and those struggling with their mental health.

She even took on a 10,000-metre sky dive to raise money for other young people. Now, she says “the future is good”.

Angharad is an example of the power that the right support can make for children in care and for those struggling with their mental health. Right now, there are 104,680 children in care in the UK. And 45% of children in care have mental health issues.

When we asked Angharad about the difference she hopes to make, she said:

“I want to show the world that people that have had my background, had mental health and have been in care can achieve things too.”

“I’ll always be thankful to Action for Children. I’ll always know in the back of my head that they’re the reason I’m the person I am now.”

We couldn’t be prouder of Angharad and the progress she’s made. And we can’t wait to see what her future holds as an Action for Children Young Ambassador.

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