Posted: 07 Aug. 2020 10 min. read

Tracey’s Story

In 2016 we set out to make an impact that matters to one million people. We’ve worked alongside charity, school and social enterprise partners, supporting access to education and employment opportunities. We have now reached this milestone. That’s one million people getting to where they want to be. One million futures made brighter. And one million stories to be told. Here’s Tracey’s story.

A lonely childhood

Tracey’s first memories are from a children’s home in Edinburgh. Her mother had suffered a nervous breakdown and so, at just two years old, Tracey was separated from her siblings and placed in the care system. Unable to make sense of her surroundings, all she knew was that she had a family she wasn’t allowed to see.

Alone and afraid, this was the beginning of what would be a very difficult childhood for Tracey. Despite eventually being reunited with her family, she grew up in poverty, surrounded by abuse and trauma that had a long lasting damaging impact. Simply put, life for Tracey was about survival. She remembers: “If ever we needed something, my sister would steal it. You’ve got to do what you can to survive.”

Nowhere to turn

Tracey struggled with mental health and addiction. This had a knock on effect on her own family, making stable and healthy relationships with her own children difficult to achieve.

In a scene painfully familiar to her, Tracey’s own daughter was taken and placed into the care system. As heart breaking as this was, she admits this was the best thing for the both of them at the time. Tracey didn’t want her children to have the childhood that she had, but she needed help. As she says on the film, ‘I didn’t know anybody; I didn’t know where to turn to for help.’

That’s when Children 1st stepped in.

Children 1st: reuniting families

Tracey credits Children 1st with seeing her through some of her darkest days and ultimately helping to reunite her family.

The organisation provided Tracey with a mentor who had previously faced similar issues to her.  She says this relationship gave her the motivation to get better. At a time when she felt no one could understand what she was going through, Children 1st connected her with peer groups and support workers that provided her with the strength she needed to maintain sobriety and reconnect with her family.

Today, nearly two years sober, Tracey is proud to have healthy and loving  relationship with her children and grandchildren. Two of her children accompanied her to the filming day and seeing their pride in how far she’s come was something very special to see.

So moved by the support that Children 1st provided, Tracey is now herself training to be a peer supporter, determined to help people like her. Her goal is to work for Children 1st, to help as many people recover from addiction and mental health issues as she can.

She knows what it is to struggle and now, thanks to Children 1st, she know what it is to make it through the other side.

Making an impact in Edinburgh

Our relationship with Children 1st began in 2016. Through a mix of pro bono, donations and volunteering, we support the charity’s strategic priorities, including abuse prevention, children’s rights protection and trauma recovery – such as the type of support that helped Tracey and eventually reunited with her family.

Children 1st has set an ambitious target of doubling the number of individuals they support between 2018 and 2023. They see our partnership as key to achieving this goal, as we work alongside the organisation, developing their Five Year Strategic Priorities to amplify and extend their impact.

Alongside strategic support, we host annual events that help bolster awareness of the charity’s work and raise vital funds. We have over 60 of our people take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival annually, raising in excess of £50,000 in three years!

This partnership is set to become one of the longest running the charity has had, providing sustained support to ensure more children have a reason to smile in Scotland.

One Million Futures (and beyond)

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared inspiring stories from some of the one million people we’ve helped to get to where they want to be. Hear from Moses, Akira, Russell and Solomon and share their stories.

We know our professionals make the greatest societal impact when they use their skills and expertise to help people. So that’s what we do. Part of our Global WorldClass commitment to empower 50 million people by 2030, our mission is to help people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. One Million Futures is proud to have amplified the impact of inspiring organisations who share this mission, including 1625 Independent People.

This is our purpose in action: making an impact that matters in society.

Hear more stories and stay tuned for what’s next, here.

Key contact

Deanna Foster

Deanna Foster

Senior Assistant

Deanna is part of the Responsible Business team, progressing the firm’s societal impact through work with charity, school and social enterprise partners across the UK. Deanna helps drive communications and marketing initiatives, building the profile of the firm’s flagship programme, One Million Futures, both internally and externally.