My name is Evan and I am 11 years old. When people find out about my life, they always feel sorry for me, but it’s normal to me, so I don’t really understand why. At home, I am the youngest of 4 and we all live together with mom. Dad hasn’t been around for a long time, I know he’s in prison but I don’t know why. I know it must have been something bad, because grandad tells me he isn’t going to be home until I’m 27!
I still see my nan and grandad every weekend and I love going to spend time with them because it’s calm and we just chill and have fun. At home, things can get really crazy. I’ve been spending more time there lately because mom’s sick. She keeps going into hospital and no one really tells me why. I hear people talking about addiction, but I don’t really understand what that means. Since mom’s been sick we have a really nice lady who comes around and checks on us, she makes sure we have enough food in the house and talks to me if I’m upset. She knows my teachers and talks to them about things and makes sure that everything is okay at school. I know she meets with the YMCA staff too.
I’ve been coming to the YMCA since I was really little and I love it there because we have loads of fun. There’s always loads of things to do and they take me on cool day trips too. The staff are really friendly and I can talk to them about anything, even the things that I don’t tell nan and grandad. YMCA is my favourite place to be – apart from at grandad’s house of course.
YMCA have just taken me away for a whole weekend, we had such a good time. I made so many new friends and they taught me all about mental health. It was really nice to learn about because sometimes things are really hard and I get sad, but the staff taught me how to look after my brain, because it can get poorly too if I don’t look after it.

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