Aaron's reflections on our Too much Too Young launch

senedd

Before I got to the National Assembly for Wales on Tuesday I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was curious to find out. I had been to the Senedd before, a few years back with school. We call it the Torchwood building, because it was always on that show!

The first thing I think whenever I’m in that building is how lush that roof is, it’s gorgeous. We arrived a bit early so when we got there we went to the café. From there you can look down into the Siamber where all AMs sit. I’ve seen it on the TV before.

The event was to try and get Assembly Members to hear what it’s like leaving care, and to see if they can help improve things for young people in Wales. There were lots of other people there too.

Young people got the conversation started

There were 3 young people, Chelsea, Curtis and Courtney sat at the front of the room. They had prepared a presentation. They made some really good points, I enjoyed listening to them. It was nice to hear it coming from someone else for a change. I’ve never heard any other young people talk about what it’s like being in care before. It was strange, but in a good way. I thought, “I know what you’re saying”. I thought this was the best bit, it was really good that young people started the conversation.

Afterwards it was more like a conversation, and other people in the room started to ask questions. Some of them were making good points, some of them I couldn’t really get what they were talking about. The one thing that really sticks out in my mind is when Chelsea said “I want to be there when people are talking about me and making decisions about me”. A lady in the audience said “It is your right, you can be”. All the young people looked surprised at that, I don’t think it’s always clear to young people what their rights are.

Lynne asked me if I wanted to speak, but I didn’t want to. There were a lot of people in the room and it just wasn’t for me. I thought that Chelsea, Curtis and Courtney had covered what I thought the most important things were – they did a good job. At the end of the hour, we’d had a really good conversation and everyone seemed to have got a lot out of it.

I think the most important things discussed were: 

  • Young people need help to manage their feelings and emotions when they come into care, as they’ve had a lot to deal with
  • Young people need someone they trust to talk to and support them. It helps if they like them too
  • Young people should be able to see the people that matter to them, including their family and friends

I really hope that all the Assembly Members who were there will do what they can to improve things, as there’s a lot that needs to be done.

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