What is it like to have an independent visitor?...

Ben's story

 

I have known my visitor since I was ten years old and he came to the foster home I was in. I wasn’t sure about it and at first I didn’t come in the room to meet him. I sat on the stairs listening to them talking about what a visitor is and then I came in and sat under the table. Then he talked to me about lego and I came and sat at the table and we have been friends now for nearly ten years.

He taught me sailing and we built a go-kart together and he showed me how to look after my bike and take it to bits and fix it. He was always turning up even when I had a bad patch. School got bad and I would get a bit down sometimes.

I needed to grow up and I left my carers, maybe it was too soon, I don’t know but being in supported lodgings was difficult and I didn’t have anything to do and no friends, at least not friends that were good for me. B still kept turning up even though it was a long journey for him as I was placed far away and he came to my reviews and took me out for hot food. Then I moved again and again and he still kept visiting and he’s getting older so I know it was a strain for him. Sometimes he was the only person who phoned me, the only person I had to talk to. I felt I let him down when I got in trouble with the police but he wasn’t phased and he didn’t judge me. He even helped me find a work experience placement when I had nothing to do.

He’s known me for such a long time, he’s a decent bloke and he’s always there for me.