Interview with Jacqui Grant from The Beat

Thanks to Jacqui Grant from The Beat for interviewing me Sunday 11th March about my Doctoral Research – Hiraeth: Finding a Fictional Home and care experience in fiction. You can hear the interview here.

In 2012, I met Lemn Sissay for the first time when I attended his event, From Pip to Potter. I also met Josie Pearse who was in the process of completing her PhD at Cardiff University and was investigating historical foundling narratives in fiction and their place in the foundations of English Literature. I was inspired to continue my studies and start a PhD. It took a few years to get this organised and I’m now two years in and enjoying the support from my supervisor Rebecca Smith and being a doctoral researcher at University of Southampton. The research looks at care experience in fiction plus I’m writing an autobiographical novel inspired by my own leaving care in the mid 1970s.

There are currently 94,000 children in care in the UK. Over 60% of children in care are looked after due to abuse and neglect. Children in care are 4 times more likely than their peers to have a mental health difficulty. 

They might be living:

  • with foster parents
  • at home with their parents under the supervision of social services
  • in residential children’s homes
  • other residential settings like schools or secure units.

They might have been placed in care voluntarily by parents struggling to cope. Or, children’s services may have intervened because a child was at significant risk of harm.

Having spent my childhood in care and experienced stereotyping, stigma and labelling from a young age, I grew up saying, but, but, but…At the age of 11, I told a social worker, I want to write a story about my life…I’m still writing.

Here’s the link to the short story that was mentioned on the programme and recently published in Wards journal: Fallen Women

Rosie writes about the things most important to us – family, relationships and home. Her story “Fallen Women” is a devastating tale of a woman meeting the grandparents who rejected her. It’s a story of hypocrisy and loss, but also of endurance and how people can sometimes survive against all odds and make build new families, the families they deserve. – Rebecca Smith

A brilliant story, Rosie. I was gripped all the way through and loved the way it ended. Congratulations on its well-deserved publication – Joanna Campbell




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