The Roots Foundation Wales

688. Emma Lewis (Swansea)

Emma Lewis, from Swansea, set up ‘The Roots Foundation Wales’ to support young people making the transition out of care.

Emma was taken into care at 10 years old and lived in foster homes until she moved out to live independently at 18. She had turbulent relationships and left care with few support networks and no formal qualifications.

The foundation, set up with help from others in the industry, now acts as a helping hand to young people as well as the social services supporting them. Emma leads a team of volunteers and three development workers. Their current projects include outreach for adults leaving care, support groups for children at risk of exploitation and programmes to help avoid placement breakdown between carers and young people.

In a personal letter to Emma, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“By drawing on your own experiences to create ‘The Roots Foundation Wales’ you are supporting young people at a critical time in their lives, as they make the transition from being in care. Your dedication to this important work is enabling young people to help themselves fulfil their potential.”

Emma said:

“I’m so humbled and overwhelmed that I have been awarded a “Point of Light” award. As a care leaver who sadly was never expected to amount to much by many, I live the fact that in my mid 30’s I keep breaking those stereotypes. We are an amazing band of many, with whom I wouldn’t be able to succeed without their support. We are passionate and dedicated about making a change for care leavers, but most importantly, they make the changes with our support.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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