A Surrey singer and BBC Little Mix: The Search contestant will tell young people who have lived in care to follow their dreams this week, during National Care Leavers Week. Fiaa, who recently appeared on the BBC1 Little Mix: The Search talent show, lived in foster care herself from the age of 11.
Fiaa will hold a live online Q&A with young people who have recently left care, encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Fiaa, aka Sophia Hamilton 26, now works as a residential worker in children’s homes in Surrey. She says she wants to share her story with young people living in care to show them what is possible.
Fiaa, who admits she “missed a lot of school” earlier in life, now has a first class honours degree in song-writing and says she has found her love in music. She is now studying for a Masters in Singing.
“I want to make children’s lives better and help young people by coming together with them and children’s services and families.
“My message applies to young people in care but also all of us in the current Covid situation. Don’t be told to give up and do something else. We might be in an awful situation but we should never give up our dreams. We absolutely must all believe in ourselves.”
The virtual Q&A forms part of a series of workshops provided by the Surrey County Council for 18-25 year olds who have left care. The virtual workshops are designed to support the 950 young people who have left the care of Surrey County Council’s Children’s Services or foster care. Virtual sessions for Surrey care leavers include cooking classes, fitness sessions and a quiz with other care leavers.
The workshops will also provide the opportunity to virtually mingle with the Personal Advisers (PAs) who are allocated to care leavers to help them with the transition into adulthood and independent living.
“I was lucky to be given one of the best PAs, Sandra. She really believed in me and encouraged me. I want young people to work with their PAs and get the best for themselves.
“I want to follow my dreams and the team I work with in Children’s Services is so supportive. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half the things I have without Surrey.”
There are just over 1,000 children and young people currently looked after by Surrey County Council and living in residential or foster care.