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Charlotte* is 16 and lives with her mum, stepdad and four younger siblings in a busy and chaotic home.

She struggles to get time and space to herself and her relationship with her mum and stepdad can be tense and difficult. Charlotte’s happy place is her college, where she has a good group of friends, works hard and feels she can be herself. She has had to work to manage her mental health in the past, and she is aware of when she needs a bit more support and who she can speak to if she is feeling low.

We met Charlotte when she had been reported missing by her mum during a Covid lockdown. She had run away to see her girlfriend and knowing where she was heading, her mum was able to get in touch with British Transport Police, who waited for her at the station. They talked to her about the dangers of going off on her own and she agreed to let them take her home to her mum. They referred her to us so we could support the family and Charlotte.

Lockdown caused the tension at home to escalate.

Our talks and contact gave Charlotte an opportunity to let off steam and express her concerns. We worked through her issues with her and helped her to get extra support through other mental health services.

Not being able to go to college during the lockdown was really difficult for Charlotte – it was where she was happiest and most at ease. But we encouraged her to keep working hard so she would be ready for when it reopened. As restrictions eased she has also been able to get a part time job, which has been a great boost to her self-esteem and independence.

Charlotte still has her ups and downs, but she is now better equipped to deal with these challenges.

Throughout our time working with her she has blossomed, and is now looking forward to a bright future with a positive mindset.


*Name has been changed and models are used to protect the child's identity.