Jade Kelly is 30 years old and grew up in and out of care, suffering emotional, physical and mental abuse at the hands of her birth mother, her stepfather and then by her foster mother. Her almost daily ordeal involved her suffering regular beatings, being starved of food, being made to sleep on the floor naked, constantly watched while she showered, having her hair cut off, being called a ‘slag’ repeatedly from the ages of 12-15 years old, which resulted in her suffering acute body issues and having a breast reduction at 17 – the youngest girl in Britain to under go such surgery on the NHS.
Only when her foster mother slammed a door on her arm and teachers refused to send her home, did social services act and remove her from her house of horror.
Years later, when Jade accessed her social work files, she saw that local authorities had plenty of opportunities to remove her but chose to ignore glaringly obvious signs of abuse. On several occasions she attempted to run away and reported her carer yet still they returned her to her foster home.
Jade suffered years of depression, attempted suicide when she was 16 and was heading down a very dark path. Only recently has she felt strong enough to face her past and make the choice to move forward. She launched a claim against two local authorities, was awarded compensation from one and is awaiting the outcome of a second claim.
Jade is a qualified fitness instructor and trained dance teacher and spent eight years as a Business Development Executive to a leading training provider delivering apprenticeships in the HMP, NHS and Education Sector.
She splits her time between Leeds and Spain.
‘I fought for years to make something of my life and not become another lost cause in the social service system. I want this story to come from a place of strength. I want anyone who reads my book and has experienced the same failings in the system to find strength in not being a victim. Everyone has a choice – whether they let their past define them or their future. I hope my story helps people find the strength to fight for what they want in life.’