She lost her mum two years ago, when she was just 18. Her mum’s illness meant Emma had to live in care and was only able to see her for limited hours each week. This was tough for Emma, who has speech and language difficulties and was recently diagnosed with autism.
But despite all this, she’s continued to smile, and has achieved great things. She’s completed two Duke of Edinburgh awards, volunteered in India, taken part in an EU project for kids with learning difficulties and more.
And her positive and confident outlook has been praised; she was recently nominated for a Pride in Medway award under the Courage category.
The annual awards celebrate all the wonderful people that make a difference to Medway.
On Friday 15 February Emma was invited to the Bridgewood Manor Hotel, alongside the other nominees, to celebrate their successes so far.
“I’ve got no idea who nominated me, but it made me feel happy when I found out. I felt good when I went to the award evening. It was very posh, I had to go on the stage and shake the Mayor’s hand.”
Emma Wyatt, resident and Pride in Medway nominee
Emma’s been put forward as a finalist and will attend a gala evening in April, when the overall Pride in Medway winner will be announced.
Emma, a keen football player, moved into Springboard Foyer eight months ago. She has a support officer and says “it’s good having someone here I can talk to, if I want to”.
“I’ve got a nice room; it’s big – but messy! But it’s nice having my own room. And it’s helpful learning about bills”.
Springboard Foyer in Rochester provides housing for nine young people
“It was a pleasant surprise when we discovered Emma was nominated for a Pride in Medway Award. She works very hard to overcome all adversities and being recognised with a nomination for the award made Emma really happy and proud of herself.
“Even though Emma sometimes struggles with social situations, she tries her best to connect with people, and once she’s comfortable her laughs and happiness are contagious.”
Ruben Santos, Support Officer
“As a charitable housing association, we’re proud to lend our support to these awards which highlight some amazing stories of individuals who make Medway an area we are proud to be a part of. It was really lovely to see one of our resident’s names on the nominees list – Emma should be really proud of herself, as are we.”
Suzanne Smith, Corporate Communications Manager
As well as being nominated for an award, Emma was also chosen as Foyer Resident of the Month in January and her face is proudly displayed on the wall in the communal area. She was chosen because of her dedication to the foyer, for attending and embracing all of her meetings both with foyer staff and external agencies and for her successes at college.
She’s currently studying an Animal Care course at MidKent College and is doing really well. She spends one day a week on work experience at Knights Place Farm Equestrian Centre; “I clean out the horses, lead them out, feed and water them”.
She’d either like to pursue this as a career, or work as a veterinary nurse and has already received two university offers.
Both universities are local so if she decides to go, Emma can fulfil her hopes of living in Medway after she leaves the foyer. Residents can stay at the foyer for two years, meaning Emma will look to move out later in 2020.
She grew up in Medway and says “I know where I want to live when I leave here – near the station in Rochester. I’d like to stay with mhs homes, a flat in Rochester or somewhere else in Medway.”
She’s had her fair share of challenges throughout her life and although she still suffers with her mental health she’s proud of herself and knows her mum would be too.
To find out more about our foyers or other supported living options click here.