First year Creative Writing and Media student Angharad Mair Roberts has been presented with an award for her work as an Action for Children ambassador.
The Stephenson Awards celebrates those who go the extra mile to make sure Action for Children is there for the UK’s most vulnerable neglected children, young people and families.
The annual awards recognise the charity’s supporters, volunteers, foster carers, adoptive parents and staff members for their work, and the young children, young people and families they support.
Angharad, from Anglesey, grew up in care, from the age of two. Diagnosed with depression at 18, she considered suicide but thought of her young foster brother and decided to get help in March 2017 when her Personal Advisor (Social Worker) told her about their work.
Action for Children also provided her with her own support worker and Angharad explains: “Being in care is all I had really ever know. Through Action for Children I met a group of people who opened their arms and helped, made me understand there’s a reason for living. Staff there helped me become the young person I am now and they made me realise people did care and that people did want to help.
“I began their Skills4Living programme in March 2017. This helps with independence and dealing with mental health.”
The programme helped Angharad, now 21, gain enough confidence to apply for university while working jobs as a Playgroup Assistant, as a one to one worker with an Autistic child and later in a Fish & Chip Shop.
She says: “I never thought I would be able to get to university because of the stigma around care children not being good enough or not succeeding in school and achieving grades like non-care children, but I’m glad I proved them wrong.
Coming back into education was hard after three years of working and I still take each day as it comes but am particularly enjoying the Media side of my course and may become a producer or Camera Operator & Editor as I really enjoy that aspect too. I would never say never to going back and working in Primary Schools either, as I really enjoy working with children."
Last year she was made and Action for Children Young Ambassador and jumped a 10,000 ft skydive before being asked to replace a member of Action for Children’s Welsh Committee in November. She is looking forward to their first meeting next month.
She says: “Mental health sufferers are often very scared to admit that they need help. There wasn’t much advertising when I first became diagnosed with depression. This could encourage people to reach out. Schools could also do a lot more to help.
“I was really happy to be acknowledged with the award and also excited to meet the other nominees and winners.”
If you would like to read this story in Welsh, click here.