Angharad experienced tragedy and pain when she was very young. With support from Action for Children, she now has a safer and happier future
Angharad was just two years old when she and her seven siblings were taken from their birth parents and put into foster care. She was placed with one of her brothers, but lived apart from the other children. It was a tough beginning. Then, when Angharad was seven, tragedy struck during a day at the beach.
She says: “My sister was in the sea and started shouting ‘Get help, I’m stuck’. I went to get my foster carer but I turned around and she was gone.”
Living with grief
Angharad moved between foster families, including the parents she came to call Mum and Dad. They gave her a lot of love, but Angharad struggled to process her grief.
“I was just sat in my room not talking to anyone getting more upset and angry. Then they sat me down and said ‘Don’t blame yourself’. That was why I was so angry and sad - because I blamed myself.”
Angharad moved into a rented a house when she turned 18. She gained independence, but the depression and anxiety she’d suffered from since young came rushing back.
“I was quite an outgoing person, quite happy,” she says, but she knew something wasn’t right. “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.
Angharad was referred to Action for Children’s Skills for Living service. She was assigned a support worker, and they met regularly to talk things through. She was also invited to join a group.
Despite feeling apprehensive about it, the group helped Angharad build her resilience, improve her mental wellbeing, and adapt to the challenges of independent living.
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.
Angharad became an Action for Children Young Ambassador. She says the future is good.
“I want to show people that people that have had my background, people that have had mental health and have been in care, can achieve things too,” she says.
“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.”