Jade aged 20
Keepsake and Football Badge
I have not had much adult support in my life. At 15/16 I was mainly a street child, Outdoors, causing havoc. I didn’t have much connection with my parents, we weren’t close. I didn’t speak to them; I was doing my own thing really, getting into trouble and failing at school. I did get a job at 16 but it didn’t work out, I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t have the support there. I was away from home for months on end. I didn’t have any connection with social services. Just on my own two feet really. At 16 to 18 I got into drugs and drinking. I wasn’t bothered. Every day I would go out and get drunk. I didn’t care about life.
At 18 I met my partner, who’s also called Jade. She turned my life around. She made me a better person; put a good head on me. I got a job – many jobs – started doing courses, hoping for a better life. We have a good influence on each other, keep each other strong. We heard about the YMCA because my sister had lived here also. We were living at Jade’s mums but it wasn’t working out and we got a place. There’s good support at the Y.
I’d like to be a support worker or get into sports. I like football. I’ve got a qualification through the FA to coach disabled footballers. I could be a physiotherapist, or work with young people. I think I’d be good at that.