A man who turned to gambling when he left the care system is campaigning for more support to be available for young people when they leave children’s homes.
As soon as Sam Womack turned 18, he was forced to find a place of his own and fend for himself.
He says: ‘I struggled with finance when I first moved in to my own place.
‘I didn’t know how to manage my money at first and I was a bit daft; I gambled with it and I was a bit silly.
‘I’d go to the arcades and spend money that I didn’t have in the slot machines.
‘Fortunately I realised I had bills to pay and that was more important, so I made the decision to stop.’
With Fixers, Sam and Bradley Wilson, 23, who was also in care, have produced a booklet - Out Of Care And Going It Alone: A Guide To Independent Living By Young People For Young People.
Click on the leaflet below to view
The pair, who are from Clitheroe, Lancashire, hope they can use their personal experiences of leaving care to help prepare young people for what lies ahead.
Advice on what essentials to buy for a new home, how to budget and keeping yourself safe, are among the tops tips provided in the booklet for living independently.
Sam, who studies catering and hospitality at Blackburn College, says: ‘I’ve got to grips with it now. I made myself aware that I needed to use the money for other things that were more important – like rent and bills.’
Now 21, he is enjoying living independently.
‘Everything has fallen into place and it’s all going really great,’ he added.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.