Introduce yourself please…
Hi! I’m Isabelle Turner, I’m 19 and I’m currently studying to be an actor at Leeds City College! I achieved 11 GCSE’S at school, and I currently have a level 2 qualification in Performing arts at Distinction Star level. I am hoping to get into a drama school or university next year to go onto study either Acting Or community drama. After this I would like to move on and train to become a drama therapist!
“I am hoping to get into a drama school or university next year”
Do you mind telling us the reasons you went into care?
I was taken into care at 9 years old, because my mum was struggling with drink problems which made her unable to look after 6 of us. As well as this, my stepdad was found to be quite abusive. But overall, I would say I wouldn’t know the full extent to why I was taken into care, and I feel that me knowing wouldn’t change anything.
How did you feel about going in care?
I didn’t really understand what was happening, but when I was finally told I felt very confused, scared and quite betrayed.
Whats your favourite childhood memory?
Probably any of the days I spent with my siblings. But one day that stays in my mind a lot, is going to a theme park with my 5 siblings, after not seeing them for 6 months.
What is your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is passing all my GCSE’S at school, and then getting onto a acting course at college.
Overall, what has your care experience been like?
I had an okay care experience. But it was mainly full of more lows than highs. This is because I was never really respected, or treated like I was part of the family which made me feel quite lonely. I also didn’t get on with my foster mum’s daughter which caused my foster mum to favourite her over me even in little arguments. As well as this, I was constantly made to feel like I wasn’t good enough because of being in care. This caused me to suffer quite a lot with my self confidence, and made me not like who I was for quite a long period of my life.
“I was constantly made to feel like I wasn’t good enough because of being in care”
Has your past had a positive or negative effect on your future?
I would say my past has had a positive effect on my future. I have used being told I won’t achieve anything as a way to push myself forward and to show people that I’m gonna be the best person that I can be!
What has driven you?
Being told I wouldn’t achieve anything in life and that I would just be like every other person who’s in or been in care.
Below: Izzy performing in Music4Care production.
If you didn’t go in care do you think you would have finished school and gone to college?
I feel that it I hadn’t been in care, I wouldn’t have finished school. This is because before I was in care, I didn’t have the best life. Before going into care I was being bullied a lot, which would have made me not want to be in school.
Who is your role model?
It sounds strange, but I wouldn’t say I have a role model because I’ve never really felt like there’s anyone for me to aspire to be like.
What keeps you going?
I would say my dad and little brother. This is because I’ve always had them there to look out for me. As well as this, my little brother is still in care, and I want him to know that it does get easier.
“my little brother is still in care, and I want him to know that it does get easier”
Have you ever felt like giving up?
When I was in care, I did. But since I’ve left I have been much happier.
How much have you changed since you left care?
I have changed a lot since leaving care. My confidence is huge, and I can finally be myself.
Do you think you were ever judged or labeled for being in care?
Yes, I think being a child in care, your always judged for it, the minute people know.
When did you start to believe in yourself?
During the middle of 2012. I was getting my GCSE results. I saw my grades and it was at this point I knew I was more than just a number in the system.
I was getting my GCSE results. I saw my grades and it was at this point I knew I was more than just a number in the system
Did you ever feel alone?
For 5 out of 7 years I was in care I was incredibly lonely, even with all my friends around me.
Did your foster parents help you?
I felt that my foster mum only helped me when she really had to. She didn’t help me very much during my exams, or when I was feeling quite low.
What’s your message to children in care?
You aren’t just a number in the system! You are your own person who can and will achieve whatever you want in life. Just try your best and don’t let anyone hold you back.
Sometimes it might seem like you getting angry and in trouble is helping. But it’s just causing you to be dragged back and giving yourself less chance to show your better than everyone who’s told you otherwise.
Below: Izzy makes an emotional speech at the Launch of Music4Care.
What was it like when you first went into care?
Scary! I didn’t know anything that was happening and I was very lonely.
If you could change anything about your life what would it be and why?
That I stood up for my self against my foster sister. I often let her control the way I was feeling and I feel that if I didn’t let her then I would have been much happier.
In the difficult moments what kept you going?
My dad and my friends. They were always there for me and made sure I could talk to them about anything.
Do you think professionals took that on board?
Not at all. They often tried to stop me and my brother from seeing our dad. As well other family members.
How did it feel proving people wrong?
What do you think about care now?
I think despite me not having an amazing time, it is good, when the foster parents/social workers work with children in care and treat them like a person.
What challenges have you had?
I suffered with a short period of depression, which caused me to not believe in myself at all. I also faced being withheld from seeing my family quite a lot. Which again made me feel very lonely.
How do you become successful despite a care background?
By not letting people hold you back from what you want to achieve.
What is your message to professionals and foster carers?
That you should listen to what is being said to you more often! Your job is to help the child, and if you don’t listen to them, you can’t do that.
Is there something you’re most proud of?
Not letting people stop me from doing well in my life!