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From Care to Career – Shabnam & Wunderman Thompson

“I was in Care due to family problems and was taken into care by my local authority. Everyone’s experience of being in care is so different – if I could summarise it to you in one sentence it’s sometimes a safe haven for some young people who go into a home and share the space with a loving caring family or it can be the most traumatic experience having to share a house with 12 to 20 or sometimes even more young people who are going through their hardest stage of life – where pain, anger, lost, abandonment feelings are visibly everywhere. Every care experienced young persons experience is different therefore it’s hard to describe what’s it like being in care.”

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Power To Live: taking care-experienced mental health seriously

The collaboration between Drive Forward and Power to Live Foundations has made a positive impact on the lives of care-experienced youth. With shared values and a focus on mental health, over 20 young individuals have received behavioral psychotherapy sessions. Power to Live emphasizes behavioral change, helping clients detach from negative thoughts and move towards a value-driven life. Trust and therapeutic relationships are key, especially when working with youth who have experienced attachment trauma. Despite the challenges, the experience is immensely rewarding, as therapists witness the courage and resilience of their clients. This collaboration has not only helped the youth, but also allowed therapists to grow and connect on a deep level.

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Young people of colour in care

I’d say from around year 3 (8 years old) I could remember strange grown-ups coming round to my house and agitating my mum and dad. I can remember having briefings with my parents on what I could and couldn’t say to these strangers and the knowledge that if I failed in these duties that I would likely be taken away from my parents with my siblings, and that we would be separated after that to live with different people. I can remember a big argument one of these strangers had with my dad that culminated in two security guards accompanying that particular stranger on all subsequent visits. This stranger was one that had become a somewhat permanent fixture in my young life, and I remember being interviewed by her in a separate room and telling her very little about what was actually going on and anything I did say was positive. It was ‘Us’ against ‘them’.

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Strong Partnerships: Superdrug & Drive Forward

In January 2020, Superdrug became an official partner of Drive Forward, and provided placement opportunities in key roles across head office and pharmacy.

2019 saw the start of this rewarding partnership. We kicked off by attending a couple of ‘Interview Prep & Pizza’ events with members of Superdrug’s Access All Areas social mobility network, which was a fantastic introduction to the initiative.

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We all have a right to good mental health

You undergo many changes when transitioning from foster child to care leaver when you turn 18. Social workers turn into PAs (Personal Advisors). You are expected to rely on the welfare state if not in employment or student loans and grants if you are at university. You also grow up extremely quickly. By the age of 19, I had my own flat and was living alone.

It was shortly after moving in that I had my first mental health breakdown. Due to moving ‘out of borough’, the therapies that I had waited a year to access were stopped at my most vulnerable point. Since I was a new patient in that area, it meant that I had to join the back of the queue for help all over again

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Discovering key workers perspectives on society

Up Close and Personal Compass and Breakthrough, Drive Forward Early Intervention programmes, launched a new online series this month called ‘Up Close and Personal’. Bringing care-experienced young people aged 13-18 and professionals with authority  in and around their lives together, the initiative aims to bust common myths that our young people may have about specific services and

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Guest blog: Lucid Dreaming  by Daviona Plowright

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to control your dreams? Ever woken up once and thought to yourself “whoa that was a good dream?” wishing to go back and continue it?
Well, what if I told you there was a way for you to dream about whatever you wanted, you’ll be in full control with your imagination being the limit!

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