Thank you to all of the IMO community and for everyone who has shared their experiences with us this year! Here is a round up celebrating everything we’ve shared over the past year.
Over the last year we have had incredible contributions from you all and we wanted to share all of the great things you’ve been doing!
At the end of last year and start of this year we developed a third series of our award winning podcast challenging negative perceptions of those in the care system and encouraging new perspectives. In the series we hear from:
Jerome, who shares how the suicide of a close friend inspired him to set up The Tope Project, a loving space for care leavers to combat loneliness. He also talks about his journey of healing the traumas he experienced in the care system and living with peace and joy in his present.
Ashley Jean-Baptiste, who recorded an IMO podcast about his experiences and career three years ago and returns to talk about ambition and founding Be Inspired, an annual event for care experienced young people to take hold of their futures.
Isabelle, who talks about her ‘corporate parents’ breaking up with her via text, her work using art to make a difference, and the importance of having ownership of your story and your identity.
Ric Flo, who talks about having a creative or physical outlet as therapy, representation in music and managing relationships with foster carers and biological family. He also shares what inspired him and powerful advice for achieving your goals.
Scarlett, who talks about the powerful animations she’s created about her own and others’ journeys through the foster care system, being separated from her family and siblings, and the compromises the system causes you to make.
We added to our Turning 25 series, where you share stories of losing support from their local authority and ran a campaign around this as part of National Care Leavers Week 2022.
We heard about projects tyou have been part of or founded:
Mary-Anne shared why she founded the Guarantor Scheme and wants every care leaver to have the opportunity to rent privately if they want to.
We ran a giveaway in partnership with Breethe Wellness App asking for responses around what helps the IMO community look after their mental and physical wellbeing – we will be sharing the responses in the New Year to support you in looking after your health.
We added to our Career Experienced People series with a video from Kim, a care-experienced Project Manager on the Civil Service Fast Stream who did a secondment at Smart Works, a charity offering free career guidance, one-to-one interview support and interview outfits to unemployed women or women on zero hours contracts. She shares what she does day-to-day, the best part of her job and the Care Leaver Programme she has been developing for Smart Works.
We will be sharing the experience of a care leaver on the Civil Service Care Leaver Internship Scheme in the new year and this year shared information about applying for the internship, with applications closing on 8th January 2023.
We have also run ‘Dear Future Me’ goal setting workshops – get in touch if you are interested [email protected]!.
IMO was created by the Children’s Commissioner for England in collaboration with an advisory network of teenagers with care experience. The Children’s Commissioner’s free and independent advice and advocacy service ‘Help at Hand’ is also here to provide support, advice and advocacy for every child with a social worker, in care and those who have left care. The phone line can be accessed on 0800 528 0731 or you can email at: [email protected] or use their online contact us form.