#CareDay20 – celebrating young people in all their glory

We too often hear negative statistics and stereotypes about care-experienced people. We hear that they are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system, less likely to be in work, and more likely to suffer from poor mental health. Rarely do we hear the good news stories or all the fantastic things that care-experienced people are producing, creating and writing.

At Drive Forward, we see care-experienced people doing amazing things every day. We know that the stereotypes and statistics do not
reflect the real story. That’s why we celebrate Care Day – to take the time to appreciate all of the fantastic care-experienced people that we work with and everything they have achieved.

This year, Care Day fell on Friday 21st February, and we were determined to throw a party. At the wonderful Living Space, a venue
in Waterloo, we celebrated with a night of pizza, poetry, music and conversation.

We kicked off the night with some inspiring words of wisdom from our ambassador, CPositivista. CPositivista set an uplifting
tone for the night as she told the audience about her journey and how she learnt to love herself. Before we knew it, CPositivista’s rousing speech had the audience yelling in chorus: ‘I can do all things!’. If you missed out, or simply need another dose of C’s infectious positivity, do head to her YouTube channel where you can find more words of wisdom.

Our second speaker, Yasmine Khan, continued the theme of positivity. Having grown up in and out of the care system from the age of 3, Yasmine has been an advocate for care leavers her entire adult life and is a trustee of the Care Leavers Association. She is now
a holistic therapist, yoga teacher and writer. Yasmine shared a beautiful piece of prose with us that she had written especially for our Care Day event on our theme ‘Love and Care’.

The first half of speakers concluded with a poem written by Drive Forward regular Jodi-Ann Bernard. Inspired by her trip to Paris,
Jodi-Ann’s poem Paintings, reflected on her favourite pieces of art. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur producing her
own knitwear.

Following a short pizza break, the second half commenced with more poetry. Our very own Greta Thunberg – Abi Edwards – used her beautifully crafted spoken word to call on the audience to take urgent action against climate change. Drive Forward ambassadors Kadiatu Diallo and Adenife Ijanusi also shared poetry that they had written especially for Care Day. Kadiatu Diallo’s poignant piece Care, Care, CARED was a concise and emotional reflection of her own care experience and Adenife captivated the audience with her beautifully crafted, candid portrayal of childhood and growing up.

The night concluded with the fantastic Tanica Psalmist – an established spoken word artist who also uses creative methods to promote
wellbeing and emotional stability. With Tanica, the night concluded as it began, with an encouraging message of self-love and positivity.

Have a look at our Instagram story!

At Drive Forward, we appreciate and celebrate care-experienced people every day. But it is so vital that, through Care Day, everyone throughout the UK is able to take the time to do this. We hope that Care Day will grow year on year and that our celebrations will be even bigger and better in 2021!

Special thanks to CPositivista, Yasmine Khan, Jodi-Ann Bernard, Abi Edwards, Kadiatu Diallo, Adenife Ijanusi for sharing their creativity with us and also to our wonderful MC, Justin Sesay-Barnes. Thank you also to Miranda Reilly, Juno Schwarz, Lucy Elamad and all the team at DFF for making the event happen and run smoothly.

Megan Davies

Head of Political Engagement

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