Knowing what it’s like to experience severe neglect as a child, "Tom" is encouraging other young people with similar experiences to stay positive and have hope.
The 22-year-old from County Durham, whose real name has not been used, says his mother’s drug habit would often leave him on the streets for hours, because there was nobody home to let him in.
Having moved in with a relative when he was eight, Tom is now urging others who’ve fallen on hard times never to give up.
‘My childhood was a complete nightmare,’ says Tom.
‘I remember walking back from primary school and waiting outside the house until it was dark, because my mum would be out getting high.
‘There were always needles dotted around the house. Basically, it was no place for a child.
‘Thankfully, I’m away from all that now and getting on with my life.
'I want others to know that despite how hopeless the situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel.’
With Fixers, Tom has helped to create a leaflet for young people who may have experienced hardship.
It reminds readers to move forward with their lives and not let their past haunt them.
Click the image below to see Tom's Fixers leaflet 'One Life, Live It.'
‘The leaflet looks great,’ adds Tom.
‘I wanted it to connect with young people, who may have been through dark times like me and remind them there are others going through similar challenges.’
Tom hopes to share his leaflets in local youth centres, because he believes it’s a place where young people of different backgrounds get together.
He says: ‘As a teenager, you’re trying to find out who you are, so targeting these places with my campaign is a perfect way to show others that they can overcome anything.
‘I don’t think I’ll ever forget the things I’ve been through, but it’s about not letting those times rule my life.
‘It has taken a lot of willpower to recover, but if I can do it, then so can anyone else.’
For more information and advice, visit the Childline website or call free of charge 0800 1111.
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