AFTER spending her teens in care and ending up homeless at 16, Roseanna Campbell has dedicated all her time and energy into giving Scotland’s young people a voice.
“People in care are often looked at as statistics, with no potential, and I feel proud and happy I can prove that wrong,” she says.
“Our whole generation, whether care-experienced or not, is judged all the time and I want to change negative perceptions and support young people to overcome barriers.”
Roseanna, who prefers to be called Rosie, is one of our five fantastic finalists in the 2020 Glasgow Times Young Scotswoman of the Year award, in association with St Enoch Centre.
This week and next we are profiling each of the contenders for the title, which will be decided by public vote and revealed on April 29, along with the winner of our Scotswoman of the Year, in a livestreamed event on social media.
“Oh my gosh, what an honour,” she laughs. “I just couldn’t believe it when I heard I’d made the shortlist. It’s so amazing.”
With a new job working with young people who have additional support needs, her own flat and a busy volunteering role with 6VT Youth Café in Edinburgh Rosie’s future is bright. But, she explains, it was not always that way.
“When I walked in to 6VT five years ago, I’d just turned 16, I had come out of the care system and I was homeless, basically,” she says.
“I was upset. I thought the world was against me and honestly, I was on the verge of thinking – what’s the point any more?”
The team at 6VT, which provides a range of services and a safe social space for vulnerable young people, gently encouraged Rosie to get involved and, noticing her talent for encouraging others, suggested she join their youth board.
She went on to be elected President and is now 6VT’s Youth Ambassador, which has enabled her to attend many events supporting young people across the city and beyond.
She is also a volunteer member of 6VT Community Rail Partnership – the only youth CRP in the UK – and she is passionate about being a voice for care experienced young people.
“It’s surreal when I look back now,” she admits. “One opportunity led to another. I can stand up in a room with MSPs and police representatives and people from the NHS and look them in the eyes and ask them what they are doing for young people.
“I would never have been able to do that before. I owe so much to 6VT because they looked after me when I was at my lowest and they never once doubted me.
“People say every young person just needs an adult to see the good in them, and they saw the good in me. To be able to give back has been amazing.”
Rosie is shortlisted for our 2020 YoungSWOTY award alongside Amanda Amaeshi, Lusia Steele, Katie Pake and Juliana-Sweeney-Baird. To find out more about all the finalists and to register your vote visit www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/young-swoty-2020.
Voting will close at 5pm on Friday, April 2.