In this blog, I am going to be talking about Coram Voices Annual national writing competition known as the Voices 2022, from the point of view of being a care experienced person who is exiting into independent living.

For the sixth year running this year, Coram Voice is holding the annual national creative writing competition, where care experienced children and young people enter their creative talent in the creative writing area weather this is in the form of, poetry, song writing, storytelling or even just someone who likes writing creatively, the voices 2022 competition is a great chance to showcase their talent.

In my opinion as a care experienced person, this competition is a great example of how to get care experienced people’s voices heard and showcase the hidden talent from a group of people that rarely get the chance to showcase what they have to offer and what they are proud off.

In the celebrations of the event, there is four categories where people can submit their work too which are ‘The Primary Category’ for people under 10 years, ‘The Lover Secondary Category’ for people aged 11-14, ‘The Upper Secondary Category’ for people aged 15-17, and finally ‘The Care Leaver Category’ for people over 18.

As a care leaver myself, the idea that coram voice has about having different age categories but more importantly celebrating everyone’s achievement and submissions together is great, as in my opinion, being around people who has something in common, it can make them feel happy because you’re not being singled out from a single person, or even make you feel that one person is more important than another.

From my experience of being in care and knowing a few other care leavers who have become close friends of mine, they have all said that they have been able to submit and do some work for the voices competition. By knowing this I was able to ask them, how this made them feel and the majority of them said that it gave them the opportunity not just to do some work for a competition, but to make friends who have something similar in common to themselves, as a lot of the time being in care or even a care leaver, it can be hard to make friends because not everyone knows what it is like being in care and the affects it can cause to someone both positively and negatively.

From my own experience of being in the fostering system, both being a child in care and a care leaver, the reality of what I saw was that a lot of the time, there was not anything around for us to showcase and present our skills to others and most importantly something for us to do that both makes us feel that we accomplished something, but also to feel that we belonged somewhere and that we had something in common with other care experienced people other than being in care.

So, for people who might be reading this blog, either you are care experienced or you know anyone who is care experienced, being able to submit some work of yours to this competition, is a great opportunity as not only does it give care experienced people a boost in confidence and achievement, it also allows people to see how talented care experienced people are, as in my own experience and opinion, sometimes as a care experienced person, there is not that much evidence of care experienced people’s talent being recognised or even appreciated.

By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger

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