Care for Care Leavers... at Christmas

Not woe is me, I don't usually go on about this part of my life.  When you reach the grand old age of 35, you become removed from your teenage self, and you look back on yourself as someone else?  Or perhaps I've come a long way from myself....?

Anyhow, this struck a chord with me, Lemn Sissay is our new ambassador (or such like) at Uni.  He highlighted on our staff pages his festive drive for helping out care leavers.  

Made me think of that time in my life, not quite 17, not long out of care, starting up in a little damp flat off Smithdown Road, with no-where to go for Christmas (I prob did have places to go, but I was proud and who wants sympathy with your sprouts?).  

I worked the late 2-8 shift at good old Wavertree Nursing Home.  But last minute got invited to the Salvation Army for my dinner, I'd just become reacquainted with me ma and she got me in!   So I had a turkey dinner with the waifs and strays of Liverpool's finest homeless, lost and lonely.  And you know what I was grateful to be included.  I went off to work that afternoon (for time and half I remember) feeling Christmassy and festive. 

Mum and Me at Sallie Army Christmas 97

I've got no time, I already volunteer with kids in care (in a different forum), I've got a young family I couldn't abandon on Christmas day (nor would I want to).  But I'll give this some thought, in the least I'll buy a few extra decent gifts to wrap up so these young kids have a present worth having.  Because that's what these care leavers are, 17, 18, 19 still so bloody young, facing the world of adulthood alone... it's dead sad. 

xx Emma-Lou


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