My name is Lauren I’m 16 years old my hobbies include everything to do with being creative art is the best way for me to express myself I aspire to become a social worker foster carer and independent visitor

My life motto is a quote from Pablo Picasso “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”

Everyone faces challenges, but being in the care system means you have to deal with a lot of judgement and being constantly stereotyped. Another challenge is the constant battle with mental-health. I have had my own experiences with depression and PTSD, this is a battle I face every day. Care is difficult experience to process on your own. I think all relationships should be encouraged with family.

In my experience the worst part of a care system is the fact I am not able to stay in contact with my adopted siblings. It has been seven years and nine months since I have seen them. The main reason I signed up to be part of a 1% project is because raising awareness of the care system is extremely important to me.

This project can tell not only our city but the world about the care system and the process of leaving care at 18, to be living independently when most young people don’t leave and live alone until they are 24 years old.

Hopefully this project can change the views of people and how society views young people who have been through the care system, while still suffering from the trauma they have experienced.

A care experience is like a rollercoaster ride that always has its twists and turns, the end is when you truly find happiness.

The most important thing is to get as many people’s voices across and I am happy that mine could be one of them.

Photo by Scott Akoz Photography