My name is Dawne Boden and I’m 20 years old. I left care on 25thJuly 2011- just 3 months before I turned 18.
I wasn’t in care long. My twin sister and I went into care when we were 15. Our social worker’s told us we would stay together. This didn’t happen, she went to live in Neston and I was in Rock Ferry so we didn’t see each other very often.
When I was getting ready to leave care I went flat hunting-which was really weird but exciting when your only 17 but I couldn’t wait. I eventually found a lovely 1 bed roomed house which I could make as my own. Next step was looking for furniture and other house hold stuff-which was fun! I had the help from Homequest where they helped by preparing me to budget my money-making sure I had enough for my bills, gas, electric and food. They helped till I was 18 by which time I was ready to do these things on my own.
But having my own house meant paying bills, buying food making it clean all the time (which I love doing anyway). These were the responsibilities of having my own house. Before moving into my house I was on a college course at De Vere. It was a chef course. I really enjoyed it. It taught me how to prepare food. When I had finished and qualified I had no job no income and no college so it was difficult for me to by the luxuries I wanted or even to live. So it resulted in me having to sign onto the dole to help me and I looked for a job. They also paid me about £112 for 2 weeks which was very hard to manage.
Eventually my personal adviser rang and said to me I have something that might interest you and will help in preparing you for work. It was a course that helped me get work. It was called the Brathay course which helped a lot of care leavers or soon to be cares leavers it was for about 8 weeks only on a Friday doing team work and writing up CV’S. I was told that by the end of the course we could have an apprenticeship job or work experience or maybe nothing! Next thing that was happening was that I had an apprenticeship interview which was with NYAS, I was so nervous but I knew from the help and support that I was receiving I would be able to get through the interviews which I successfully did. I became an apprentice. Since being with NYAS I have noticed that I have changed for the better, I have calmed down a lot, attitude and behaviour wise. I also help out on the participation side. I have been to Liverpool to do a consultation event which was with the ALC and NYAS looking at transparency in the family Courts. I also went to Birmingham to help young people produce a DVD for NYAS. Not so long ago I helped out in NYAS Head Office to do a takeover day which was a Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day when children and young people worked together with adults at NYAS to make a change-which was a great success. I also attended a Consultation Day facilitated by NYAS looking for Transparency in the Family Courts on the 30th November 2013 at the Custard Factory in Birmingham -that was such a good outcome.
In a few years to come I could see myself maybe one day being the Chief Executive at NYAS. That is my goal!!!