What makes me happy
A woman who was abused whilst in care has credited support from Future Pathways with helping her come to terms with her past.
Mary and her siblings were put into a care home after her mother passed away when she was only seven years old. She believes that her experiences then have badly affected her entire life.
Now, thanks to support from Future Pathways, which is Scotland’s in-care support fund, Mary is now coming to terms with her past.
“Working with Future Pathways has been a 100% positive experience for me,” she said. “I can have some sort of life now, there is hope. You can’t leave it behind, it’s not easy. But hopefully, I can put the memories into a box in my mind and store them away.”
Mary was split up from her brothers and sisters when she entered the care home in Ayrshire. Her only link with her mum, a doll, was taken away from her and she says that she was mistreated by staff.
She added: “What happened has affected me badly. I now find it hard to trust people, and I’ve made bad relationship decisions. But the support I’ve received from Future Pathways has been % positive. By contacting them, I have removed the fear, I don’t have to be scared anymore.”
Future Pathways is fully funded by the Scottish Government. Anyone over 18 who was abused or neglected whilst in care as a child in Scotland can register â€“ even if they now live elsewhere in the world.
Each person registering is contacted by a support coordinator, who works with each person to identify what they need. Whatever the nature of the support, the goal is the same – to have a positive impact, regardless of where someone lives, or regardless of when the abuse took place.
Each person’s support is unique to them, built around what is important in their life. A wide range of resources are available: from help to access records, to counselling, to further education and arranging housing and benefits advice.
The service is free and confidential. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Joyce is very keen to encourage anyone else who has experienced abuse in care in Scotland to contact Future Pathways for support.
She added: “If I can help others like me to pick up the phone to Future Pathways and to also get help, then that’s got to be a good thing.”
Flora Henderson, Alliance Manager of Future Pathways. said: “Joyce is an inspiration. Her positive experience (with Future Pathways) encourages and motivates us to continue working with people to ensure that they have the support they need.
“Although over 600 survivors have already registered with us, we know there are many, many more people out there who have had similar experiences and who could really benefit from our help and support.”
To contact Future Pathways, call free on 0808 164 2005