My name is Hannah; I am 30yrs old and a mother of two. Dylan will be six in February and my daughter Leila is 18 months old. I grew up in Norwich living with my Mum, Dad and Younger sister Kate.
We had a very fortunate life and travelled lots with our parents – we always seemed to be doing something outdoors, camping, walking, and enjoying the many nature hot spots in and around Norfolk… We had a good life. Sadly our parents separated when I was 12, when I was 16 our Mum was admitted to Hellesdon hospital for mental health issues and life started to get tough.
I just about got through my GCSE’s – hating school it seemed the last of my worries, there was little support for us as our extended family live in Birmingham. Dad did his best but it was hard for him on his own. They finally moved apart and we went to live with Mum in a different part of Norwich. I worked hard. Finding jobs seemed fairly easy but having just got GCSE’s and not really knowing what I wanted to do I drifted from job to job, Mum used to say it’s ok to leave if you’re not happy at least you tried.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that I began working with young people whom were in the care system that I really found myself. I completed my NVQ 3 Health & Social care – children & young people, and then worked as a parent support advisor – supporting families in North Norfolk; I completed my level 3 diploma in parent support. Following this I moved to the Youth Service working in Thetford where I ran projects for children and young people; whilst there I completed my level 3 Diploma in Youth work.
I was made redundant in the last round of public sector cuts; with my redundancy pay I decided I was going to complete my dream of becoming a Forest School Leader; I have recently qualified as a level 3 Forest School Leader and am setting up a provision called Nurture by Nature working with children and young people in the great outdoors.
I feel that being part of the committee for Respect Yourself is a great honour and being able to be part of an organisation supporting young people in Norfolk is something I regard very highly.