Fanso is one of the Trust's Young Advisors and is also a Modern Apprentice with the Participation team at the Trust. Here is Fanso's letter to his younger self.
Some words of advice to my younger self!
I know you may feel like you're alone and I don't expect you to understand but the future holds something much greater for you. Yes, it may be scary. You think "what if things only get worse and never change for the better?"
It's not easy and you know it but someone who loved you the most invested in you, taught you how to be respectful, taught you to appreciate, have faith and recognise the things that may seem small and to appreciate those who care for you.
Let your faith and your trust in God lead and guide you into brighter days. You will get through these hard times and you'll go on to do some amazing work such as helping other young people and families in a similar situation as yours; though you may feel like you're the only one caged.
Your confidence will grow massively through some of the work that you'll take part in such as:
Interviewing the Chair of the What Works Well Centre - a government initiative to help achieve better outcomes for children, young people and families across the country, by pooling good practice.
- You'll go on to speak at Westminster of what difference you've made in your town by being a Chief Executive’s Young Advisor - a role which helps you to have a voice on behalf of other young people and so help the Trust to shape and adapt- its servcies.
- Meeting up with the Children's Minister and sharing your story and also hearing his story and actually realising that those who go on and do well have not always had a solid and secure past. Not only will you enjoy doing this but you shall also gain a lot of experience and life skills from it all.
Stick to playing football - it will bring joy and good people into your life. You'll move from team to team, play for a semi-professional team; and all the teams you play for will appreciate you as a person and as a team player.
Keep on going to church every Sunday and secure your relationship with God and keep on believing that he’s got nothing but a good purpose for your future.
The future is going to reward you with nothing but opportunities and help you grow and discover a lot about yourself that was buried by fear. One example of something that is going to help you through loneliness and hard times is music. You will go on to be a song writer and artist, something you never ever imagined. You will go on to do paid shows and to being on stage and performing in universities, schools and various town/cities. You will develop your skills to go on to write poems and to become a motivational speaker/advisor.
Discovering these skills or talents will help you not only to depend on football but will also teach you that there is so much more you could do with your future and also that you could be someone great in life if you put your mind and efforts into it.
There will be a Doncaster Children’s Trust Children In Care Council (a forum for children to get their voices heard) Christmas gathering and you will meet new people and a kind girl by the name Chloe Green is going to make you feel so welcome.
A girl called Becci Coole is going to say to you: “You don’t speak much do you?” but forgive her as she does not know that you have got a language barrier and you don’t yet know that she is going to play a big role in your life.
You will also meet a lovely lady called Tracey Cusack (Trust Participation, Advocacy and Independent Visitors Lead). She is going to do her best to 'mother you' in the right directions, bring you closer to the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust so you have a better relationship with all the people who are helping you. She is going to create great opportunities for you, such as becoming a Chief Executive’s Young Advisor, which will build your confidence massively, make you realise that you may be special, and even help you secure an apprenticeship in the Participation team at the Trust. Through this you will help other children and young people share their voices to help the Trust shape the services it delivers.