Barney's Story

Attending university in itself has its challenges, worries and excitements, of course. However, going to university as a care leaver enhances all of those feelings, more so the worries and challenges. I have been studying Criminology and Criminal Justice studies for 3 years now, as my course neared the end and the light at the end of the tunnel was within sight, that being; Graduation.

I knew I wanted to make this day one of the best of my life. All that hard work I had put into my course would finally pay off. Walking that stage, wearing the gown, the hat, holding the certificate, I really wanted to make this day special. However, to make it special is very costly and it is a cost a student care leaver couldn't afford, without something extraordinary and that is exactly what the Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity are – extraordinary - as are the people that support and help fund this charity.

They helped me a lot financially and ensured I could attend my graduation and celebrate my success. In simple terms, if it were not for the Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity I would not have been able to attend graduation and complete my course due to the costs.

The Charity made it possible for me to feel valued, appreciate my success and for that day made me feel fortunate for what my life is, despite the difficulties and disadvantages I have faced in my younger years throughout my time in care.

The foundations to my career are now laid, and the path to success is there, for me to follow, walk down and make a difference with my life, something I am very grateful for, the support offered to me by the Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity, and all those who donate towards it.

Barney – The Final Chapter - February 2017

For half of my life I have had an allocated Social Worker or Leaving Care Advisor. I am sure I have led a very different life to most young adults my age and how they have grown up, gone through the education system, got a job and moved out of home. Now it’s my turn to move on with my life and become completely independent and it is Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity that has helped me to be totally independent and say my final farewells to the Children service.

Once again, the Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity has helped me immensely and allowed me to achieve the final mile-stone in my time involved with the care system. That is, quite simply, to leave it and live in my own home, pay my own rent, go to work and live the life that so many call ‘normal’. A life I have not yet really lived, and a life I can't wait to grasp. Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity has supported me financially with the first instalment of rent and deposit on a flat, which has meant I have been able to move into my new home more quickly, with ease and as little stress as possible. Without their support my move would have been delayed, so that aged 21 and working, I would still be living in a Social Services run flat, which is better suited for younger adults moving out of care and onto the next stage in their lives.

It's difficult to sum up the support I have received from Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity in a few words, as their support is worth much more than that. I am truly grateful for their help in my final months involved with Social Services and by supporting me in my move to starting my adult life. Once I move, in the coming days, the case-file I hold with the Children's Service will close for the final time, and in many ways this is what I look forward to most. It is the last chapter of my involvement with the service, the final piece to the puzzle, and the final step on the ladder which the Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity has held straight and firm and indeed helped me on my way up to the top.

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