Young Voices

Lives in Care: Stories of Resilience

Mindhouse Productions, the makers of the award-winning radio series and podcast Grounded With Louis Theroux, is teaming up with BBC Radio 4 and our Tony Simpson to explore life in the British care system.

Insightful, emotional and deeply personal, Lives In Care: Stories Of Resilience is a three-part documentary series told only by those who have experienced life in care and at a time when the care system has been labelled as under “extreme stress” by an independent review.

Through the series, Tony will meet some of our young people who have recently been through the very same system he did back in 1961. Read and listen to their stories of the trauma of entering care, the resilience of surviving it, and the jolt of leaving.   

The Apprenticeship Experience

It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and we’re sharing Joseph’s and Shazia’s experiences of their apprenticeships in Digital Marketing and Construction!

Apprenticeships are great opportunities for care-experienced young people because they provide real work experience and a chance to earn a qualification all whilst being paid!

“I chose to do an apprenticeship because it’s a great way to learn whilst actually doing the job. I get support from the Multiverse coaches who help me throughout the apprenticeship and I also get paid whilst learning. So, I thought it made sense to try out an apprenticeship because it’s a great alternative to university at this moment.” – Joseph

“Even though I still have to study, it’s a good opportunity and promises the career progression I need. I want to build my career to the level where I’m making a good living, being paid a good wage and I’m happy with where I am by 25. ”  – Shazia

Despite the amazing opportunities apprenticeships can have for care-experienced young people, too many are still not accessible. With low pay our young people often have to sacrifice career progression for the sake of making ends meet!

Read more to see how you can help change this!

Taking Advantage of the Advantage Programme

Care leavers are 38% more likely to drop out of university than their peers, and those who make it through the other end often find themselves standing at a cliffs edge with no support network to rely on as they try to navigate life after university. The Office for National Statistics estimates that almost one-third of British graduates move back in with their parents after graduation. Care-experienced graduates don’t have that option; they need to find the means to support themselves when it’s time to leave student halls. That’s where our Advantage Programme comes in; equipping them with the networks, skills, and confidence needed to compete on today’s graduate job market, our programme aims to enable those young people transition from university into a career of their own choice.

The 411 on Being A Wunderman Thompson Intern!

Shanelle gives us an insight into working at Wunderman Thompson – a global marketing agency that specialises in growing brands creatively, during her time there as a Strategy Intern!

Work experience not only allows the young people Drive Forward are supporting the chance to unlock their potential and explore their future careers but companies realise there’s a lot to gain by having enthusiastic talent on their side!

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

Deaf and in Care. Insights, experiences and advice

Deafness is something that is not talked about a lot, especially not in the context of the care system; the support available in residential homes or foster families. To learn more about the issue and how it impacts on care-experienced young people’s lives, we took the opportunity to speak to Linn, a care-experienced young person from London.

Linn and I have been working together on Drive Forward Foundation’s Breakthrough Programme, an initiative aimed at young people in care with the aim of enabling them to progress personally and professionally as they prepare for adulthood.

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