It is National Care Leavers Week. I’ve said before that Harry Potter was a foster child. His status (as fostered child) has spread like wildfire since then. He’s one of us. My all time favourite fictional care leaver is Lisbeth Salander. As a child she was fostered adopted and institutionalised and her new film The Girl in The Spiders Web will be out soon. She’s one of us.
The fiction highlights the non fictional.
Over the last few years I’ve compiled a list of people who were in care. It includes the CEO of a City council, an athletics national medal winner, a vogue photographer, a stylist for Jennifer Hudson, an Army Major, an X factor winner, Newspaper editors, a florist, Lords and Baronesses, professional artists, a plumber, television presenters, headteachers, novelists, business leaders and barristers. Those are just a few of the unique list.
For years I’ve wanted to make a documentary simply about getting them all together for a photoshoot. Because they’ve never seen each other in the same place. And neither have we.
There is a prejudice against children in care. It is so prevalent that those who have been in care spend most of their lives hiding the fact. The care system should be so good that social workers attend conferences entitled “How to stop middle class parents trying to put their children in care”.
The song below is written by a young person in care in Canterbury. The artwork above is by the artist Greg Stobbs. We made an exhibition of their poems as part of my residency in Canterbury. Battersea Arts Centre are holding a week of artist led events called “Going Places” regarding Care Leavers. That’s a first.
Later on this month Channel Four will broadcast my documentary film on young people in care. The Christmas Dinners will soon launch their crowdfunder campaign for The Christmas Dinners this year. I don’t run the christmas dinners. They are independently run by each group in each area. They hold Christmas Dinners for Care Leavers between 18 and 25 years On Christmas Day.
The clocks are going back at 2am this morning. We turn them towards darkness. British Summer time is officially over. To celebrate I have spent an unhealthy period of the last two days in bed.