Life with Quarriers: Caz's story

Caz Dunlop is 26 and lives in Glasgow. You may recognise her – she recently featured in the Ken Loach film The Angels’ Share. But life hasn’t always been starry for this young woman.

cazpaula.jpg

Quarriers first supported Caz two years ago when she was homeless and came to Quarriers James Shields Service, supported accommodation for young people. Here she learned the essential life skills for managing her own tenancy like budgeting and paying bills on time. It was here too that she met Paula and Mandy from Quarriers Children and Young People’s Inclusion Service.

“You grow up feeling that no one cares. But that changed when I came to Quarriers.” 

With their help and support, Caz started to believe in herself. Her new found confidence saw her get into football and was soon picked to play for Scotland at the Homeless World Cup in Paris. “What an honour getting picked to play for my country. If it wasn’t for Mandy I wouldn’t have got that chance.” 

Life before Quarriers had been extremely chaotic for her. From the age of 12 or 13 she was placed into both residential and foster care. She is vague about how old she was when this happened “I still block a lot of it out. I blocked it out back then too by drinking.”

When Caz left foster care, she was given a flat of her own. “I didn’t know how to manage on my own.”  Caz gave up the flat and slept at friends’ houses until she came to Quarriers.

Life is good now for Caz.  She has her own flat and is studying Drama and Dance at college. She sees a very different future now to one she saw as a teenager. “I look forward to getting out of bed every day.  How good is that!”

She’s also Editor of a Quarriers newsletter, written for young people by young people. She feels strongly that young people are heard.

Her drive and passion to make things better was highlighted recently when she shared her experiences with 2nd year Social Work students in a plea to make them hear another perspective. She said “If it makes just one bit of difference in how they listen to kids then I’ll be happy.”

“I wouldn’t change what happened to me as it’s who I am now, but I would change it for every other kid if I could.”

 “If it wasn’t for Quarriers, I’d probably still think no one cared. To know that someone cares enough to give money to Quarriers projects is amazing. I don’t think they realise they’re changing lives. They’ve changed mine. Now there’s no stopping me.”