Meet The Collective Members

Alex Horne

I’m Alex and I live in South Ayrshire, I’ve always tried to campaign on behalf of care experienced young people. I have two young daughters, and love watching them grow up and flourish in an environment filled with love and respect. 

I chose to be a member of The Collective as I feel it’s so important for people with care experience to know love and grow up in a nurturing environment. I believe The Collective will change the world!

Alicia Santana

I’m Alicia. I’m 22 and I study Music at Edinburgh Napier University. I spent eleven years of my life in care – I was looked after at home and spent time in kinship care. I wanted to be a part of The Collective because I believe that care experienced people should be in control of the way that care is carried out in Scotland.

Being part of The Collective means I have the duty of representing our membership. Their direction is key to what The Collective should be doing to ensure long-lasting and impactful change to the current care system. I want Scotland to be an empowering and loving place for care experienced people to grow up. We all deserve more.

Amy-Beth Miah

I joined The Collective because I’m tired of my care experience being seen as a disadvantage. I’m sick of shouting and not being listened to. I’m tired of finding out that another person I grew up with has committed suicide. I’m tired of being made to feel like I’m not capable of being a decent parent.

I’m tired of statistics which suggest that it’s more likely I’ll go to prison than attend university.  I’m tired of conversations where sibling separation has been the root cause of why so many of my peers feel alone. I’m tired of people being shocked by our stories yet this still being our reality. It needs to change. That’s why I have joined The Collective. 

Angela Haverstock

It is paramount to me that I stop ruminating over the detrimental experiences of my past. By joining The Collective I am looking to the future and re-channelling my energy into working towards radical change which will improve the outcomes for all care experienced people from now on.

I, along with my friends at The Collective, are no longer prepared to except the ‘status quo’. There are challenges ahead, however, we are a tenacious team who intend to keep LOVE, EQUALITY and RESPECT at the heart of all we do, whilst having fun along the way.  

Aylesha Meads

I’m Aylesha Meades, 23 years old, and I live on the Shetland Islands. I grew up in foster care and then later on I was adopted.

I chose to join The Collective as I now have a young son of my own, he has given me the courage to speak up on behalf of care experienced people like myself, to ensure that from now on we all receive the equality, respect and love we deserve!

Callum Lynch

My name is Callum Lynch, and I’m 23 years old. I have a degree in Marketing and Human Resource Management. I feel that the change we need for care experienced people must be radical. I hear a lot about small incremental improvements, and whilst these are good, I want to think bigger. I believe with all my heart that care experienced people deserve a lifetime of equality, respect and love.

I’ve travelled to Europe and the USA to complete a research project on what care is like in these countries compared to Scotland. This research will inform the Independent Care Review and The Collective, as we strive to make Scotland the best place for care experienced people.

Carmel Jacob

As an educational psychologist I want to change the lives of the care experienced children and young people that I support. As a care experienced individual, I want to embrace my identity without hesitation, without shame.

With The Collective I am hopeful for a brighter future for all. A future where predictions are not made regarding the trajectory of a child’s life before they even start school. A future where no child is a lost cause.
I grew up in kinship care and my gran who raised me loved me. I feel lucky to have been loved as a child. I want to be a member of The Collective because it shouldn’t be about luck.

Carol Hunter

My Name is Carol Hunter and I am the current Student President at Fife College. I am also currently studying a BA Social Sciences Degree. I am care experienced and a mother to three young boys.

I am 37 and I feel that it is important to highlight that after the age of 26 you ARE still care experienced. The trauma and experiences live with you for the rest of your life, they don’t just fade away.

I was fortunate to be adopted into a loving and nurturing family which allowed me to flourish – this is what every child is entitled to, no matter what their background is.

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I chose to become.”

Charlotte Armitage

I’m Charlotte, I’m 20 and I have a passion for equality. I have lobbied the First Minister and Jeremy Corbyn on the challenges of being care experienced. My main goal is to improve the Scottish care system but I’ve travelled to India and heard the stories of care experienced people there, which has opened my eyes to the global impact of having experience of institutionalised care.

I joined The Collective to pursue my dream of a care system that has love, fairness and opportunity at the centre of it. We won’t get another chance like this. Right now we are changing history and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Chloe Wyper

I’m Chloe and I’m 21. I have been involved with Who Cares? Scotland for about 7 years now, and I love anything to do with acting and Harry Potter.

I chose to join The Collective because for the longest time, the care experienced voice has been put on mute. My hope is that, with the help of my fellow Collective members, we can use our voices and experiences to turn the volume right up. It’s time we were heard. The Care Revolution is upon us and I intend to be a part of it!

Danielle McKirdy

I’m Danielle from Renfrewshire. I joined The Care Collective because I want my voice to be one of those which has helped challenge the problems that care experienced people of this generation face. Most of all, I want to make sure that no one goes through what I went through for the 8 years that I was in care. I don’t want anyone experiencing homelessness at the age of 16/17 whilst having to juggle school exams.

I joined The Care Collective because I knew that if I didn’t, my voice would be another voice not listened too. I felt ready to own my care identity and stand up against my past.

David Anderson

I am a husband to Anne-Sophie and father to Lewis (25), Charlie (4) and Aurèle (2). I have experienced the Scottish care system and am an ex-social worker. I now teach Social Work students and Social Educators in France. I like to write (in both English and Dundonian Scots) and getting out and about in the great outdoors. 

I joined The Collective with the intention of contributing in a meaningful way to the drive for change to the so-called care system in Scotland. I intend to make known the wishes of the care experienced community and do my best to ensure our voices and our ideas are both listened to and acted upon as we embark upon this important and exciting endeavour.

Heather Robertson

My name is Heather and I am a 23 years old care experienced social worker. I chose to be a member of The Care Collective in order to share my positive story of care and celebrate the things which the Scottish Government are doing correctly.

I feel that this is important in order for the stigma faced by the care experienced population can be broken and for care experienced people all over Scotland to be celebrated and loved. 

Ishbel Holmes

I am Ishbel Holmes and I am an adventurer, international author, public speaker, activist, animal rescuer and I’m care experienced.  Being a part of The Collective is the most important thing I’m doing. I was in foster care. I was homeless. I had to crawl out of the life I was given by the system. It took me years. I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way I did, but sadly this is the reality for many. Enough is enough.

A new future can be created when we unite our voices behind one shared vision. The Collective is about connecting and listening to the care experienced community and understanding 40 years of Who Cares? Scotland evidence to create the vision of what we all want care experience to be. I’m really looking forward to a new future!

James Moohan

My name is James Moohan and I represent the voice of Who Cares? Scotland Membership within the Independent Care Review Edges of Care work-group. I also work at Glasgow Caledonian University supporting college students enter higher education.  

I am proud to be part of a grassroots social movement effecting lasting change!   

Kenny Murray

I’m Kenny Murray, a campaigner and writer. I have over a decade of experience of working in public relations for some of the world’s leading brands.

I joined The Care Collective because it matters. It matters to me, to my brothers and sisters whom the system separated me from. It matters to those who can’t speak up. It matters for society.

Care Experienced people are just like everyone else. We’re full of hopes and fears. We have ambitions and dreams. Society needs to recognise that. That’s why The Care Collective matters.

Laura Lloyd

My name is Laura Lloyd and I am care experienced. I am currently studying my postgraduate Masters in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. Research, I believe, can provide answers. If we ask the right questions, then we are able to understand complex problems. With better understanding, we are in a better position to find suitable solutions.

My sister died because the system did not respond in time. After struggling to come to terms with what was a preventable loss, I finally had the motivation to do something with my life. It would be an injustice to her, and her short life, if I did not find a way to make sure that there is no future loss of life as a result of the Scottish care system.

Lauren Hall

My name is Lauren, I am a student primary school teacher and proud young mum to twin girls. I have joined The Collective because I am passionate about equality – for everybody.

I want to teach in a class where care experienced pupils have the same statistics of achievement as everyone else. I want to raise my children in a world where they don’t see division and their care experienced friends aren’t considered disadvantaged. I want all care experienced people to be celebrated and treated fairly and with dignity.

The Collective is a great way for the quietest voices to be heard and represented so that is why I am here.

Lauren Young

Hiya, I’m Lauren! I’m 19 and from Shetland.

I applied to be a member of the care collective because I’ve been involved with the care system for over 15 years, long enough to know that it needs changed in every way possible. And the main reason being that children and young people need loved and listened to. 

Another reason why I became a member of the care collective was it was important for me to represent the voices from Shetland. Care experienced children and young people from a small island will have completely different views compared to care experienced children and young people from the mainland and I think personally this is really important that we hear everyone’s views from all over Scotland. 

Lee Davidson

Hello, my name is Lee. I am a mental health and well-being coach. I have always been an advocate for positive mental health and overcoming trauma. Rebuilding confidence, self-esteem and emotional boundaries by relearning how to love yourself and forgive yourself for past mistakes. 

I have joined the Care Collective to help influence a system that is set up to break down confidence and doesn’t love our children. In a harsh world, love is a necessity. I wish to be there to share my love and be a significant person for our current and next generations. I want to show our children and young people that they are important, they are enough and they are loved.

Liam Slaven

My Name is Liam Slaven I am 19 years old from Falkirk. I joined The Collective because I am passionate about representation and people’s voices being heard. I feel people with care experience have not always been taken seriously when talking about issues that affect them.

The care experienced movement has been oppressed for over 100 years and this is time to call for our rights to be upheld. I have been inspired by other movements like the civil rights and the LGBT+ movements. The time is now to help shape the transformation of a broken system. I believe The Collective has the power to change the world as we know it.

Marissa Roxburgh

My name is Marissa, I am 18 years old and I have been in Kinship Care since I was 11. I am currently studying to become a community worker.

I chose to apply for The Collective as I wanted to get involved in something that is going to help make a positive change to care experienced people’s lives. I also want to stand up for people in care and make sure everyone has their voices heard.  

Megan Sutherland

I’m Megan. I’m 20, I grew up in Inverness. I believe in the power of kindness and want to spend my life doing the most good I can for the people who need it most. I’m working to get a degree in Policy and Statistics from Glasgow University and I’m also completing a parliamentary internship with an MSP and MP.

I am a member of The Collective because thousands of children are still growing up in ‘care’; being restrained, leaving with no lasting relationships and going on to prison or the morgue. I don’t believe action can wait. It’s time for radical, structural and experience-led change. I will always encourage respect, speak up for equality whilst helping our family grow to spread hope and most importantly, love.

Melissa Hunter

I’m Mel, I live in Angus with my 2 children and 2 cats and my dog!  I have spent 15 years working with children and young people and trying to make the world a better place for them.

I am proud to be part of The Collective as I made a promise a long time ago that I would never let any young person feel like I did growing up, and that I would be an adult who would always listen and never give up!

I am excited about The Collective and hugely hopeful for the opportunity to help create lasting change!  The time is NOW!

Olivia McMahon

Hi, my name is Olivia McMahon, I come from Glasgow and I am currently studying Hairdressing at City of Glasgow College.

I am possibly the smallest and loudest member of The Collective, you will usually find me singing, laughing, talking or moving around at 100 miles per hour. I became part of The Collective because I want to make sure future generations of care experienced people do not have to go through the traumatic and demoralising experiences many of us did.

I want to make sure the Scottish Government learn from the past and work with us to create new legislation so that these catastrophic errors never occur again.

Rebecca Munro

My name is Rebecca Munro, I am 24 and a geography student at the University of St Andrews. I also work part time as a research assistant. I come from Dundee and am one of five siblings, who are all care experienced.

I chose to be a member of The Collective to act as a voice for those who feel that they are not listened to or do not have the confidence to speak out. I would also love to be involved in the conversations and planning surrounding this movement for care experienced people.

Robert Dorrian

My name is Robert Lindsay Dorrian. I am a university graduate about to embark on a career in law. I also volunteer with my local citizen’s advice bureau and I sit on the area’s children’s panel as a panel member. I joined The Collective because I am tired of witnessing the same mistakes which haunted my own care journey being repeated some 20 years later.

Whilst I had a fantastic mum who fostered me for most of my life; anxiety, self-worth and identity issues continue to be an issue for me. The Collective is an opportunity to engage, listen and help action the needs and wants of those experiencing a system which has failed to implement meaningful change for decades!

Ryan McCuaig

I’m Ryan and I was Looked After at Home, in Kinship Care and subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders from the age of around 5. I have a first-class degree in Law from the University of Strathclyde and am studying the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow. I want to qualify as a Human Rights Lawyer so I can help care experienced people and other oppressed groups.

I joined The Collective to help provide a voice for other care experienced people in Scotland and across the world. For too long, care experienced people have been subjected to stigma, discrimination and pre-determined destinations. The Collective has the potential to change the future for people like us by convincing the public and the decision makers that we deserve real transformational change.

Sandra Garifalu

Following some of the issues I have came across over the years I have developed a strong sense of justice. Liberty is very important in the lives of young people who grow up in local authority settings. I could give examples of why, however I am limited to a few lines. For this reason I am studying and have gained experience in the subject of law. 

I have joined the collective as I would like to see some of these issues I refer to, worked on and improved with a reform of authority bodies, who are responsible for the care of young people in their daily lives.

Effectively providing more of a supported and protected upbringing, allowing them to flourish and thrive in an understanding and balanced world. 

Sophie Reynolds

Hi, my names Sophie, I’m 14 and from Glasgow. I’ve been in foster care for 6 years and I was in and out of Kinship care when I was younger. I wanted to be part of The Collective as I believe, despite all of the amazing changes that have already been made, there is room for so much more.

I feel like that we should do everything we can to improve the care system for the next generation. They shouldn’t have to experience all the negative things that have happened in the past. 

Su Asif

Hiya I’m Su. I’m from Glasgow. I’ve always tried to do the right thing and help people because no one helped me when I needed help as a kid. I have had to fight to survive every day of my life all because I am care experienced. 

For most of my life I had myself convinced I was unlovable. The word love is something I never heard through my childhood. It was only last year, I finally understood the impact of being in the care system and the effect it had on me. I started to look at a way to use my voice In a positive way. 

The collective is my opportunity to influence the system that has failed too many people. All Care Experienced people are human beings just like you who are reading this now. We deserve a better system than the current one. A lifetime of equality, respect and love for all care experienced people matters to me a lot, so these are my main reasons for being part of the collective. 

With thanks to Scottish Local Authorities and funding partners, who make our work possible
Who Cares? Scotland Funding Partners