Ambassador role for Brandon
A teenager who grew up in foster care has dedicated himself to supporting children and young people across the North East.
Brandon Robertson, who lives with his foster parents in North Tyneside, has recently been appointed as an ambassador for the North East Regional Children in Care Council.
The 18-year-old has been going out of his way to help others since an early age.
At 14, he started volunteering at a charity shop run by The Children’s Society every day after school.
He now uses his experience growing up in foster care to advocate for looked-after children in North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Gateshead.
“I’ve been in the care system since I was 11 and it was my social worker who put me up for this job,” said Brandon.
“I’ve worked with the Children in Care Council for quite a while, so I’ve had experience with a lot of young people in the care system, and I thought that because I know so many of them, why not be an ambassador for the entire lot.
“It is a big commitment to do this role alongside my A-levels.
“I go out and meet all the young people in each of the Children in Care Councils from the local authorities and get their collective views on certain things - then I take that information back to the local authorities.
“My experience gives me the advantage of seeing both perspectives and I can jump back and forth between what the adults can understand and what the young people can understand.
“I also do fostering assessments, which involves speaking with potential carers at home.
“My foster parents are definitely like my parents now.
“You end up with a very big family unit - my real family, my foster family, and my extended family (others that my foster parents have looked after over the years).”
Brandon’s selfless actions have seen him receive a Star Award from North Tyneside Learning Trust and the Chairman’s Commendation Award for volunteering from North Tyneside Council.
His ambition is to work in the media and he has received an unconditional offer to study a media degree at York St John University, which means he will be moving out in September.