Action for Children’s Tan y Dre children’s home and the young people they support have had a special visit from a One Show film crew with the presenter calling the home ‘inspiring.’
Presenter Ashley John-Baptiste, who experienced the care system as a child, interviewed staff and young people at the home as he sought to address the misconceptions of children in care. The show is scheduled to be broadcast on Monday 14th January.
He said: ‘It has been brilliant. I grew up in a care from the age of two, and lived in numerous foster placements and a children’s home. I lived in that home over 15 years ago and to come to this home and see how homely it is and how strong the sense of family is, is inspiring and a bit overwhelming.
‘Meeting the young people and the staff has been an absolute privilege. I’m really inspired by how the care system is progressing because of homes like this one. It’s always therapeutic sharing your story and hearing other people’s stories and just to see that these kids are doing well and loving the home they live in, that’s heart-warming and really life-affirming.’
Tan y Dre is a four-bedded therapeutic residential home in Wrexham for children and young people between the ages of 9-17 years. It provides support for young people who have experienced early life trauma.
Paige, (15) has been at Tan y Dre for 3 years and was thrilled to meet Ashley. She said: ‘It was emotional telling my story to Ashley as he knew exactly what I was talking about. I loved them coming to our home to see how normal a life we lead here thanks to all the staff.
‘They try 100% to get what we want and I know they’re not our family but they all have that family nature and I know they all love us to pieces. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, I count these as my family.’
Ieuan, (15) also relished meeting Ashley and the One Show crew. He said: ‘I enjoyed meeting Ashley as he was really interested in our lives at the home and it was interesting to watch the crew film us. It’s always felt like a proper home to me and we have a good story to tell, I’m really looking forward to seeing us all on the One Show.’
Caroline Morris, registered manager at Tan y Dre, said: ‘I am so proud of our young people who engaged so brilliantly with Ashley. He put them at ease immediately and could relate to them as he’d been in care too. This is something the children wanted to do, they wanted the opportunity to tell their story. It was lovely to hear him say how different it was at our home to the difficult experiences he’d had as a child.
‘He was amazed how homely it is and saying we really are a big happy family meant everything to us and what we’re trying to do here. I hope the One Show can highlight the excellent work that is being done in the sector for looked after children, it’s really good to be able to portray children’s homes in such a positive light. We are all very excited to watch the show.’