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Source: Channel Islands – Jersey

A BBC presenter with experience of care has said the motivational talk he is due to give to island care leavers tomorrow [Saturday] gives him the opportunity to show that “no dream is ever too big”.

Ashley John Baptiste is due to appear at ‘Reasons to Care’, an event organised as part of National Care Leavers’ Week which runs from 24 to 31 October. The aim of the week is to highlight the needs of care leavers and to encourage agencies that look after them to work in a co-ordinated way.

‘Reasons to Care’ takes place at Transform Together Gym on Saturday between 1pm and 5pm. There will be a punch and sweat class by qualified boxing instructors, a yoga workshop as well as a live set by DJ Ben Newman.

Ashley, a BBC journalist and presenter who attended the Jersey Foster Care Awards earlier this year, said: “As a care leaver it’s a great honour to be speaking at the “Reasons to Care” event hosted by The Children’s Rights Officer and the Fostering and Adoption team in Children, Young People Education and Skills. I left the care system ten years ago, when I was 18 – at this time I felt vulnerable and scared.

“The pressure of such independence at a young age made it much harder for me to have aspirations and dream big. I think it’s brilliant that this is starting to change; with the implementation of the Stay Put policy and more foster carers looking after young people beyond the age of 18.

“Although things have changed since I left the care system, I feel that we need a society where care leavers have the same opportunity as any other child and to ensure that we’re providing young care leavers with the aspirations to achieve wonderful things in their life. This event provides me with the opportunity to reach out to the care leavers, to tell my story and to demonstrate to them that no dream is ever too big.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom