A care leaver’s view on ‘social distancing’

Well what a time. Time is getting harder as we are being made to stay indoors, finding things to do. It’s only been a couple of days since the PM told us to stay away from others (social distancing). It’s hard to think that people out there are bulk buying very odd items, mainly food, but for some reason people are fighting over toilet roll and other odd bits. 

I’m a 23-year-old care leaver who unfortunately lives alone. This is my little story on how we can keep busy in this time of boredom. I’m not lucky enough to drive so I have to risk catching COVID-19 by jumping on the bus. A lot of us young adults don’t have the savings to put towards getting our licences or if you are lucky enough to have your licence can’t afford a car because the wages we under 25’s get can barely see us through. If you’re like me, you’re most likely worried more about your families than yourself. For me I’m worried about my grandad who is in his 80’s who also lives alone and my Mum who is always the rock that makes me feel better.

We may be stuck inside but there are many different ways to spend time. My work coach gave me a few ideas:

  • If you always have a load of energy like me the best that I can recommend is a workout. For example: challenge yourself at how many push ups and sit ups you can do. Set a goal to beat. 
  • The best part about having all this alone time is you can be as weird as you want. Put some music on and dance like no one is watching. (I do this all the time). 
  • If you are a singer, then sing your heart out. Write your own songs and perform them for your friends and family over skype or FaceTime. Lighten up their lives by being happy and yourself. 
  • For me I love to write. It was my birthday last week and all I wanted was a laptop so I could do things like this blog and write my novels. My dream one day is to be published even though I’m not that good.  
  • If you’re lucky enough to have pets, you can play with them. Watching the enjoyment in animals is one of my favourite things to do. 
  • I have a guitar that I never took the time to learn but now I know a fair bit about it. You could take the time to learn either a new skill or improve your knowledge of a subject you’ve had an interest in for a while. 

These are only a few things to think about. Just remember that although we are now told to keep our distance (social separation) friends and family are only a phone call away. I hope you all stay safe, happy and smiling. 

Reece Crisford is an active member of the Drive Forward Policy Forum.

Covid-19 Care Leaver Fund #BecauseWeCare

This is not the time for catchy slogans and memorable images. Care leavers need your help to get through this crisis and they need it now!

“My fears are that I will be on my own with no food and no electricity and can’t afford to feed my cats. As I have depression it will make me feel separated and alone.” – R. 23, care leaver

The current crisis affects us all. Nevertheless, care-experienced young people will disproportionately suffer the consequences of the world fighting the Coronavirus. Many of them have lost their jobs or student bursaries with no recourse to advance payments from public funds, no savings in the bank and no family to support them financially or emotionally.

“For us, where do we turn when we have no money or no money for bills? Organizations are exhausted and have little to nothing to be able to give. Universal Credit is unable to give out advances as you’re still paying off the one you owed from last year not knowing that a crisis was looming.” – T. 21, care leaver

These young people are eager to move forward in life, and in times of crisis, they rely on all of us to support them.

“I’ve struggled with my depression and anxiety for a number of years and it tends to worsen as I feel demotivated or unable to get out and about.” – M. 19, care leaver

Your donation will help them:

  • pay their gas, electricity and water bills, helping them not fall into debt;
  • cover their broadband and mobile phone bills so that they can stay connected, continue their education and find support;
  • help them buy daily essentials from food, to toiletries, to flu medicine, to baby nappies and pet supplies.

Together, we can help care-experienced young people get through this crisis. Thank you for your support today!

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