Chance to Stay – the highs and the lows, and funny bits in between

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Thursday 27 March 2014 / Chance to stay Participation Children in care
chance to stay

The young people who led Chance to Stay – Cyfle I Aros have been busy since last week, including saying thank you to everyone who helped us change the law.

They've also been  talking about their memories of the campaign: the highs and the lows, and the laughs.

It’s been just over a week since Assembly Members voted to make a strong, clear law that says young people in foster care in Wales are able to stay until they are 21. This brilliant news is still sinking in.

 There were some points during the last few months when it didn’t seem possible:

It’s been a very emotional journey and hard work at times, but also very rewarding. A low point was the afternoon in January when we all heard that the amendments were not strong enough. I was gutted, disappointed and upset. Everything just hit me at once

“We've been through such a long journey. We’ve been to so many meetings, which we had to prepare different things for.  We all had such a laugh; we met so many people who helped us on the journey. When we went to the Senedd on the 4th February, well, we were all so excited for them to vote saying YES! But no, they had to make another day. I felt so fed up and thought our journey was over...”

There were some pretty funny moments too:

“When we were eating Keith Towler’s, the Children Commissioner’s, chocolate birthday cake. I was putting the cream on and the cake ended up swimming in it. That was a highlight for me, I just found it funny"

“We were practicing getting our message across to Assembly Members in a short space of time, and Rhea said "How long do you think 60 seconds is?” Being me, I said "half a minute". We all burst out laughing, and I felt like a fool. Hahahahahha. I remember we put the picture of Gwenda on the window so we could see it while we were planning our event, hahaha. We were all worried she was going to be hard to convince”.

“We were supposed to meet with Gwenda but her colleague came down instead first. But then we asked for Gwenda, and he kindly got her for us. I was talking to Gwenda and I told her everything I’d wanted to say for such a long time, and she didn’t hear me. She said “Pardon, say it again?” It was funny, but embarrassing at the same time. I was glad she came down and listened to us though”

And then there were some really happy moments:

“My highlight was talking to the Assembly Members and getting their points and views about the campaign.

“My highlight was when one party came back to me by email saying they were supporting us and that they were going to table an amendment”

“My highlights were the YES votes on the 11th February and the 18th March, really amazing”

 My own personal highlight was watching the young people’s faces light up with pride whilst Assembly Members praised them and their bravery in speaking out and fighting for change. That was a really special moment.

You can listen to Assembly Member’s speak about the campaign and vote YES by clicking here. (You can watch the whole thing (!) or fast forward to 5 hours, 33minutes, and 41 seconds).

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