“My YOT worker brought me out here the first time. I thought it would be a bit more boring to be fair. I thought it would be a lot more boring than what it is. That’s the positive side of it. It’s a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be, which is good. […]
Sometimes it’s a bit of a nightmare coming out here because of where I’m living and that, but I get out here because I want to be here, and I want to be part of making everyone’s day here a bit better and you can just go around and talk to everyone. It’s just like a big family. I enjoy it here.
I’m living in * at the minute. I’ve been down in Cornwall. I’ve come up from Cornwall. I’ve come up from Exmouth. I’ve come up from Torquay. So, I am travelling quite a way to come up here, but it’s because I want to be here. I’m getting up at six o’clock in the morning to get on the train for seven o’clock in the morning, just to get here because I want to be here.
I was in care and because of my mental health and that, my anger and my temper and that, it was getting really bad in the placement, so they gave up. Long story short, they gave up on me and they couldn’t be bothered to help me anymore, so they kicked me out. They never gave me 24 hours’ notice and I was out already going down the beach to have a nice day. Then I got a phone call saying you’re not allowed to return to your placement. I thought f*@k, you’re a bit of a c*@t, put it that way, you’re a bit of a ct doing that to me. I didn’t bag up any of my stuff. I didn’t get to clean out. I didn’t get to do any of that. They put me down Cornwall. They expected me to get there by myself. I didn’t have no map. I didn’t have no iPhone. I had a little burner phone … no-one to call, no-one to take me there. That was two months ago.
Most of my care placements have only ever lasted seven or eight months. I’ve had a few, not many, like six or seven. The last one was probably the shittist. The one before that was the nicest and I actually got along with the manager. The manager, he actually come in five days a week, Monday to Friday. Sometimes he’d leave a bit earlier like two o’clock, but most days he’d be there until like five o’clock in the evening. In my new placement, she’s only ever came in like once. The manager would only come in once or twice. So, why would you work with kids and not show them that you want to be there, not show them that you actually want to put effort into their life and make it a better life. The other manager did that.
Since then, I’ve been in Hotels and B&Bs, temporary accommodation, emergency accommodation. It’s not the greatest, but it’s better than sleeping on the street. It’s been pretty shit. You’ve not got anything really. You just sit there and watch the tv channels. You can’t really cook anything because all you’ve got is a kettle. Because I’m under the care system … I can’t do anything unless they say I can. It’s stressful.
At LandWorks it’s different when someone does anything for you it impacts on your life. So, that impacts on me and just the experience … doing things I’ve not done before. I like working in the workshop, just being practical. That’s what I love the most. I like doing things.
I’ve cut some circles out for bowls. I’ve sanded down some chopping-boards, oiled some chopping-boards, varnished them. Made some benches, putting the nuts and bolts in, sanded them down. Oiled a plant-bed, oiled some of them. I’ve done some painting here. Painted the wood-burner in there, but the paint’s coming off of it now. Picked some tomatoes with Sammy … teaching me what tomatoes to pick and that. The dug-outs, I’ve helped Graham with them, with the nail-gun. I did that with the stapler-gun, put the roofing on that one…
It’s just a friendly place to be. You don’t get judged here. There are nice views. It’s on a nice bit of land. It’s a place where you go because you want to be here. Like me, for example, I’m still coming here, and I’ve done my hours … because I want to be here. I just love it here. My body thinks I’m going to LandWorks. It’s a better place to be than being sat bored, depressed, sad, miserable, no food. It’s a better place to be.
I’ve not eaten around a table full of people since I was living at home with my mum and then obviously my mum kicked me out. My mates got rid of me. I don’t have anyone. So, I just thought what’s the point in coming here and sitting around a table and getting attached to all of these people if I’m just going to leave again. That is what it was. I didn’t want to get attached to people. Now I’ve got to know everyone and they’re not all as bad as I thought.
I like everyone here, literally everyone. Even what they’ve done, what they’ve been in prison for, I don’t care. I don’t think about that one bit. I think everyone’s a bit nuts inside when they want to be. We all make mistakes, and we all learn from them eventually. Some learn a bit quicker than others, but we all learn from them. I love everyone here and I can talk to any of them.”