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Imagine if you could go back in time and know then what you know now. Wouldn’t it be great?

Over the last month, teens in care and care leavers from all over the UK have been taking part in our #dearyoungerme campaign by writing postcards to their younger selves. They’ve shared some wonderful, inspiring and heartfelt messages, words of encouragement, and advice – all the things they wish they’d have known earlier. Their messages touch on a wide range of themes, including relationships, confidence, stigma, education and mental health.

In celebration of Care Day 2019, we’re sharing a selection of the best postcards below. Check back next week when we’ll be sharing the remainder of the submissions.

You might think that everyone knows you’re different, hell maybe some do. It doesn’t matter. The expectations of others should not limit you. Being in foster care, your past experiences, just mean that you have lived and everything you have achieved so far is a testament to your inner strength. Being different doesn’t mean inferior – and you’re going to prove this.

There are going to be so many things that are going to happen in my life. I’m going to lose people, have my heart broken, and make loads of silly mistakes and feel low. But just remember, you’re beautiful, and much better than you think.

Breathe and relax, everything will be alright. Death and sadness will come and go, happiness may come and go but not as much. You will always struggle with mental health, abuse and sadness, but you will be alright eventually – it takes time, love and family. Stay strong.

You should be more proud of yourself. Try to open up more. Try to get along with your carer. The future is your saviour. You can get through this – hold on tight.

There will be a lot of obstacles. Remember to always be positive and to not be afraid to put yourself first sometimes! Also, be a bit more vocal of what you want and never give up – you are strong.

Don’t forget that people are always there for you, even you think they are not. So don’t give up just yet, there is still so much to do. “Not all who wander are lost.”

Learn as many skills as you can when moving out. Learn how to cook, clean, pay bills and do whatever is needed to make it easier for yourself.

Learn not to be so stubborn. Don’t refuse help just because you don’t want something to happen. If you’re stubborn it will just be harder for you in the long run.

Stick up for yourself and be yourself. Nobody can change the way you are and it’s not wrong to be you.

It’s not your sister’s fault, and life will get better. Be yourself, stay positive and do what’s right for you.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this campaign. Join the discussion on Twitter and Instagram using #dearyoungerme.

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