By the time he was eight years old Keenene was his Mum’s carer and at 13 he was taken into care. 

Our staff met him when he joined Brathay’s Going Places programme which raised educational attainment for young people in care. He said, “At the time I had a problem with adults telling me what to do. I was very angry” Going Places was a 12 month programme including weekly group work and residentials. “I liked meeting young people in the same position as me and making friends”.

After Going Places Keenene left school and joined the National Citizen Service (NCS) which was run in his area by Brathay. He made friends, became more independent and started volunteering. In 2014 his NCS group received the national VInspired Award for Most Outstanding NCS Team.

This was a big achievement. I’ve had hard times and I know what it’s like – when you get a lot of positive feedback and recognition it makes you feel good and want to do more.”

After the programme finished his NCS group continued to meet, with Brathay supporting them to fundraise and organise community events. “The youth workers at Brathay don’t tell you, they ask you; they don’t talk at you, they are with you”

We’ve known Keenene now for over five years. He has his own place to live and has worked for us part-time to support other young people like him. He’s also at college and hopes to go to university. He says “Brathay staff support you but they ask you to take responsibility. The biggest thing I’ve gained from them is confidence.”

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