I am a Doctoral Researcher at University of Southampton under the supervision of Ms Rebecca Smith. The focus of my research is the representations of orphans and care leavers in fiction. I am examining the research through the lens of both creative and critical practice. The creative piece will explore my experiences of leaving care as well as considering the positive aspect that reading fiction has had on my life. I hope to complete the PhD by 2021.
I recently worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Conversations for care is a knowledge exchange project co-created with Aoife O’Higgins. Our aim was to engage people in the care community including care experienced people, foster and kinship carers, social workers, virtual schools, residential care workers, researchers and others, and stimulate discussions about care and how young people’s experiences of care can be improved. We did this through monthly Twitter chats and outreach activities at the University of Oxford. To find out more please visit our website or find us on Twitter at #CareConvos. Care in the time of Covid is a project that explores the day to day lives of care experienced adults in the UK during COVID-19. We wanted to know how the care community is coping and what helps them. We also wanted to record their experiences in history. Findings from the project will be published in October.
A Portrait of Care was a collaboration between Dr Aoife O’Higgins, myself and University of Southampton, Widening Participation department. It was an online exhibition via Instagram using self-portraiture as a way to combat the negative stereotypes people have about children in care. The project ran during NCLW20. Due to the negative connotations associated with being ‘looked-after’, almost every care experienced person comes into contact with discrimination at one point in their lives because of their background. By using portraits, we hoped to de-stigmatise the experience of care i.e. you cannot tell from a photograph a person’s care experience – as a way to improve perceptions and general public awareness.
Among other activities, I co-organised Your Life Your Story and curated the art exhibition for the Care Experienced Conference in April, 2019. Here is a write up about the conference from a talk: Oxford Children’s Rights Network at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.
2009-2020 Organiser of Greenacre Writers where we ran writing groups, workshops and festivals. #diverseauthorday in September 2015, was trending all over the world. We had some amazing contributions, read about the authors that were involved here.
From 2014-2017 I was Volunteer Coordinator for Hackney Christmas Dinner (founded by Lemn Sissay).
I am a campaigner for care leavers, and in 2013, helped set up the Every Child Leaving Care Matters campaign.
I have known Rosie for a number of years and what strikes me is her level of commitment and dedication to a cause she believes in. Her drive to document the fictional lives of people in care is remarkable and unique. Only the most compassionate of all of us could undertake her task. The stories she has researched are harrowing and heartbreaking but she is determined that these tales should be read by all to increase empathy for all people who have been through the care system. I cannot reccomend her highly enough. – Alex Wheatle, Author, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (2016)
I first met Rosie when she invited me to speak at The Finchley Literature Festival in 2014, an incredibly well organised event with a really diverse group of authors. It was then that I realised how much of a powerhouse Rosie is, encouraging new writers, creating platforms for established authors, and providing audiences with inspiring talks – and all at the same time as furthering her own academic and creative writing career. Rosie is an excellent networker, with a clear passion for bringing readers and writers together. – Caitlin Davies, Author
I met Rosie in November 2014 at a children’s conference jointly organised by Glyndwr University and The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities. The following year Rosie delivered a presentation about her research, “The representation of orphans and care leavers in literature”, at the 2015 children’s conference and during Care Leavers Week 2016 she presented again at, “HANDLE WITH ‘Therapeutic’ CARE”, the main conference hosted by The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities. In 2017, Rosie is co-led a residential writers group hosted by TCTC which is bringing care leavers with literary aspirations together with published authors in a therapeutic community to tell their story. Rosie’s passion for books and creative writing is infective, she is an admirable ambassador for care leavers and a highly recommended memorable speaker with creative ability to reach the audience. – Amanda Knowles, The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities