Why do we do it?
When it works, care can be a haven away from an unsettled upbringing. However, once having left care, that security is swiftly taken away.
One of our founders, Jerome, who is himself a care leaver and was a close friend of Topé, describes his experiences:
“When you are living by yourself, everything is so much more difficult, and you really are alone. Generally, Care leavers can seem to be alright when you are in care, as you still have someone there and the responsibility of a local authority. But when you leave, that’s when your so-called ‘corporate parents’ disappear and you have to deal with the whirlwind of emotions alone.”
“I think that’s why my friend felt like there was no one – even when people are physically there, sometimes you don’t feel like they are, as you can become trapped in your own experience and sometimes that can create self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings.”
“The Topé Project is about giving long lasting memories the [young people] can laugh about, so you can ask how their day was and they can say ‘yeah, it was great’. Also they can think life is worth living and realise they are not alone in their experiences and many other care leavers are going through the same thing as them.”
“Our project is agenda free and about the power of time, space and human connection.”
"I may not have been here if it wasn't for this project, i was suicidal but today i felt valued as a human"