“My name is Kasha, I’m 19 and I live in Ribbons.
“Ribbons is the name of my flat, which is joined on to Aberlour Options – Moray.
“I am in care. I got taken away from my mum when I was little, because she couldn’t look after me. I’ve moved around my whole life, but I’ve been here now for three years. I’ve changed a lot in that time. When I first got here, I was nervous and scared, and if I had to meet a new person, I’d pull my hood up and walk out the room. Now I’ve settled in, I’m more relaxed and I’m starting college.
“I was born in Falkirk and lived with mum and dad there until I was four or five. Then I went to my gran’s for a while, and then I moved to Fife, to live with Sycamore at Bellyeoman Road. I would have been six then.
“I remember my first time arriving at Sycamore. I was scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen. I hid under the table for hours. Over time I got used to it. I used to memorise where all the creaks were on the stairs and the floor, so I could sneak out of my room during the night and creep downstairs to talk to the staff. We would go on holidays to a caravan and different day trips.
“I’ve been to a few different schools. My behaviour wasn’t good. I didn’t listen. It’s not good to keep moving all the time and it made it hard for me in school.
“I always loved animals – dogs, rabbits and cats. I had a cat with my foster parents called Baldrick. I had a dog called Rufus with my mum.
“When I was 10, I discovered football. I saw Rangers playing football on TV and they became my favourite team. My favourite player is Ricky Foster, but he doesn’t play for them any more. I get a new Rangers top as a present every year and it has my age on the back.
“After I left Sycamore, I went to foster parents and sometimes went for respite breaks, because it was good for me to get a break from them and for them to get a break from me.
“Then when I was 16, I moved up to Elgin. I got my own flat, which I named Ribbons. I like my flat – I have a double bed. There’s lots of teddy bears on the floor so sometimes it’s messy, but my living room and kitchen are tidy.
“On a normal day, I wake up at 10. Sometimes I get woken up early by my neighbours, which is the children who live next door.
“I’ll do something with the staff. Like me and Stacey will organise my photos and put them on the computer, or I’ll go and play football outside. Sometimes we go swimming or go shopping or to the cinema.
“I started doing Park Run and I’ve run a 5k on a Saturday morning. I’ve played for Elgin City Ladies football team. One day I’d love to play for the Glasgow Rangers ladies team.
“I picked all my own staff for Ribbons. I’ve picked Stacey, Coleen, Kirsty, Sarah and one bloke which is Adam. Sheena comes and stays when I’m having Chinese chicken curry. When they’re doing interviews, I get to come and ask questions and pick who I like. I’ve decorated my flat with the names of all my favourite staff.
“This sounds harsh, but I like staff who are closer to me in age so I pick younger staff. They take me swimming or out for the day to Inverness or Aberdeen. We’ve been to watch the X Factor tour, and last year we went on holiday to London.
“But I like the older staff too. Frances feels like a mum and Sheena keeps me safe. I like them to come into all my meetings with me because I know they look out for me. I feel safe here and I have lived somewhere before when I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel safe at my grans, but I feel safe here.
“My favourite thing about living here is that I get to see Sheena.
“In future, when I’m too old to live here, I’m going to have my own house. I’ll live on my own, but I’ll have staff who come to visit me and make sure I’m ok.
“Being in care means you get looked after by staff. They take good care of me here. I wouldn’t change anything about where I live.
“If I was giving advice to staff about looking after children I’d say – you need to look after them but you have to always ask before you touch their stuff, and listen to what they’ve got to say.”
Aberlour Options – Moray