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Chelsea's Story

Chelsea's Story

Chelsea Haughey has slept in more bedrooms than she can count since she was 10.

“I moved in with my granny (when I was 10) and lived with her until I was 15. We had a family breakdown and mummy couldn’t cope with me because my attitude was really bad. I was a really hard child to work with. My granny couldn’t cope with me at the time either. I had bad mental health.

“When I was about seven or eight, I wrote a letter just saying I wanted to end it all. I was getting bullied at the time and I was supposed to go to Canada, but my doctor said ‘I don’t know if we can trust you (to go)' - so I wrote a letter to each person in my family and my mummy found them and she just couldn’t cope. She didn’t know what to do with me.

“My mummy rung up my daddy and said can she come and live with you, but it didn’t work out with my daddy so he took to me to my granny’s and I stayed there until I was fifteen, but it affected my mental health really badly.

It’s really hard for me to keep up a good relationship because I just feel like I am going to get abandoned again.

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“When I was in 242 (a project for homeless teens) I took a breakdown and ended up in Beechcroft.

“I started cutting myself when I was eight. These scars are new but I have ones from before. It’s how I cope and I feel better after it. Some people take drugs and I would never do that. I used to cut my thighs so my mummy couldn’t see and I have attempted suicide a few times as well.

Chelsea was chosen to go to Prague with JK Rowling’s charity Lumos to speak at the Connecting Communities 2017 about her experiences in care.

“I was so excited to get picked, being there made me realise I don’t know how lucky I am. If you are not in college there, you are out on the streets. They get money until they are 18, but if you are not in education you don’t get that money and they make you homeless.

“Homeless, not as in they can be in a hostel, homeless as in they are on the streets. I am not in education, and it has made me realise that I need to get back into it. It has given me a new mindset.

“When I get older and have kids, I just don’t want them to have the life that I have had - that would be terrible if I even thought of doing that to my kids. Usually when people ask me what’s your future, I’m like, ‘I will be probably be dead’ - but now I won’t be. I will be alive and happy hopefully.”