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‘There are good people ready to make time for you’

Five Rivers care leaver Mindy has some advice for young people who feel discriminated against. We gave her a voice on this blog:

I currently live on my own in a small and cosy one-bedroom flat and am successfully completing my third year of college and plan to do a fourth year before deciding on a University I would like to attend too. My life at this point I feel is good and am stable with both when and where my future will be. But getting where I am today was a long and very hard road. There has been and continues to be obstacles to overcome.

When I first became a young independent person there were a lot of people I came across that were unwilling to listen to me or take me seriously, whether I was applying for jobs, housing benefits, looking for rental properties or even going to the bank to open a savings account. This for a while made me feel as if I didn’t have a place in society, like I didn’t belong in the world. I didn’t like the stereotypical image they had of me as a young person that didn’t have much experience: they didn’t stop to think about why I had come to them for help, advice or employment.

There has always been a struggle for young people that have the ambition, skills and drive to be successful in their own individual lives. Rather than seeing how interesting and unique an individual really is people prefer to focus on the statistics, the stereotypes and mistakes and relate them to all young people. It doesn’t matter how interesting or amazing the pages are –  most will judge a book by its cover.

While many young people out there will strongly agree with this view, I must accompany all the cons with the pros. There are good people in the world that will always be of assistance if you ask for the help. After my struggles I found that there were members of staff on college campus that were ready to to make time to listen and help me.

I was not compared to any other student, I wasn’t seen as just a young person making a fuss; I was spoken too like a young adult. It was a small act but it made a real change to my perspective on how others see me and how I see myself. These people helped me find accommodation, showed me the best way of handling my funds and after three years are still more than prepared to help me with new issues and struggles. This is true with the social services teams from Five Rivers and Somerset Council.

Both teams are ready to help and always willing to listen and offer the best they can for each unique individual – which is something I can never stop being grateful for. The one thing I hope you take away from this is that although it is very difficult being a young person in this era, if you ask for help – whether you’re the toughest of the tough, the shyest of shy, the biggest personality or a book worm – someone will be there ready to listen, ready to help and make time just for you.

Mindy Golder

This is a Five Rivers participation production – giving children in care the right to speak and feel included.

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