My name is Abi and I’m from Newcastle. I got to know Headliners back in December when I signed up to do the Tyne on Your side project.

Being a care leaver is something that isn’t easy. I do get so much support from my social worker and from other organisations but it’s different from having a parent or family that you can talk to all the time. It can really knock your confidence and make you unsure about yourself. I have always been a creative person but doubted my abilities so wouldn’t share the things I did.

Signing up to do new things is always quite daunting as meeting new people is hard but I’m so glad I signed up to do Tyne on Your side because I have made lifelong friends and gained experience in photography.

What really helped me is the employability side. I lacked confidence in this and just didn’t know where to start. After working with Headliners, I feel so much more confident and positive about my future because I have been given some really good skills in interviewing, mapping out my future and building my experiences though volunteering.

It’s exciting to know that my photography work will have a lasting impact as it’s going to be displayed in an exhibition with Headliners. From someone who never shared anything that I created before to having something up for public display is a really big thing for me. If I thought back to what things were like last year I could never have imaged it happening.

One bit of advice I would give anyone is that if you want to do something; just do it! It’s intimidating to meet new people and do new things but tis has been a really great experience for me and I’m so glad I did it.