Lincoln is 20 and has been mentored for the past year and a half by Jackie Lord who works at BLGC. He was in care for five years and felt in need of the extra support that mentoring offers. Lincoln is transgender and, since he came out, Jackie has proved helpful in finding specialist support services and attending with him. This is Lincolns story.

“My name is Lincoln and I have been working with my mentor Jackie for 18months.

I would like to tell you a bit about my life before mentoring.

At 13 yrs old I was removed from the care of my mum and into the care of the local authority, at first, I was placed in a foster placement and then moved on to two different residential homes.

To be honest these circumstances affected my behaviour. I refused to go into school for 3 months. I was then moved between 3 schools in the space of just over a year. This didn’t help me with my education and I fell behind with my GCSE work. Me and the other kids in the care home all got into mischief together, this involved drinking alcohol and basically terrorising staff. There are so many stories I could tell you about being in the care home but I haven’t got the time.

When I was 17yrs old it was time to move on from the care home. although I had known the day would come to move out I was told quite suddenly that it was happening and I was devastated. I had built up relationships with the other kids and staff there, they were like my family.

I moved into “lucas project” a supported accommodation project, this was a complete different experience for me and I felt quite isolated and alone in my own flat. I wasn’t prepared for this.

My key worker at the Lucas project referred me to the mentoring project and that’s when I met Jackie . mentoring came at just the right time in my life because I was feeling anxious about budgeting my bills on my own, basically I was expected to be an adult. Jackie did some sessions on budgeting which boosted my confidence. Our relationship began to build up and I slowly started to trust Jackie. I would look forward to seeing her every week because it gave me chance to express my feelings in a safe environment.

I have moved on from the Lucas project and now share a flat with my best friend. Around 4 months ago felt comfortable enough to share with Jackie something that I had known for a long time but kept to myself due to not settling anywhere, this was going to change my life completely.

I felt like I was born in the wrong body, I knew I was a lad not a was a massive relief to finally share this with someone I trusted.

Jackie helped me to find a group who I could talk to for advice and what steps to take next. I have since made a few changes, I have seen my GP to be referred to a gender clinic as I plan to have the surgery to change my body to that of a male, this could be a long process.

However, I have now changed my name by deed poll to Lincoln, my bank account is now in the name of Lincoln, I am known at college as Lincoln, this is because I am Lincoln.

Having Jackie as my mentor gave me the opportunity to be the person I always knew I was.

Thank you