She was on their top ten list of missing people and had been reported to them seven times – an alarming amount for a young teenage girl who was clearly having a very difficult time.
She was living in a care home in Leeds – but being from the south of England and a long way from her mum and brother she was very unhappy about this. Lily had been moved for her own protection after she had been exploited, run away frequently and services became increasingly concerned for her safety.
The teenager has poor mental health and has self-harmed and considered suicide in the past, but was determined to escape from the people trying to protect her so she could drink, take drugs and have fun. We got in touch and when we met Lily was very different from what we had been expecting.
She spoke about her family and how much she misses her mum and brother, which was why she kept running away. We helped her understand the risks she was taking and the danger she was putting herself in as well as reinforcing the knowledge that people are trying to help her. In more recent visits we can see Lily’s mental health is much better and she hasn’t run away since March. She says she feels like people are listening to her now and she attends on-site education every day.
£52 could pay for two hours of one-to-one support for a child in the UK who needs our help to stay safe.
*Names and identities have been changed.