As part of our Letters From Lockdown project during summer 2020, care-experienced young people took part in a series of creative writing workshops with Yvonne Coppard from the Royal Literary Fund, inspired by the Foundling Hospital Archive.

In our first workshop, the theme was “Introductions” and participants were set the following challenge:

“Write a letter introducing yourself to someone. But write it in the third person, as if you were an outsider recommending you as a good friend, or member of a group, or… whatever. Start the letter any way you like; make up whatever situation you fancy or just start with, “I would like to introduce you to… The only rule is be positive; no dissing yourself”.

This letter was written by Mustafa, in response to that prompt.

“Dear readers, his name is Mustafa. He was born and raised in Afghanistan, but he came into UK in 2018. he arrived at UK with basic English, after putting huge efforts in his education he found himself in BTEC applied science last year.

He is not a genius, but we can tell from his achievements in short period of time that he is a hardworking person. Teachers selected him as departmental representative after they observed how good he was at completing the tasks that were given to him. Departmental representative is not an easy responsibility while your communication skill is not perfect as you suppose to be at. At the beginning I could literally seen fear in his face, but not because of being selected as representative. He was afraid that may not complete his mission successfully beyond the teacher’s expectations. Result…result, yes result is important when a task is given to a person. The headteacher in our department has many times mentioned ‘Mustafa is the best representative so far we had’, he convinced college to buy lots books for the department, many tablets to back up the science lessons in case if computers did not work, convincing teachers to provide extra help classes for GCSE subjects… at the end of the year he faced another challenge ‘organising a prom’. He organised a prom that he did not have any clue about it, for students in our department in a rental place along with hired DJ.

Academically, he was successful so far as he achieved many awards. Such as, ‘Best learner in department’, ‘Croydon Star award’ and another big achievement was ‘Jack Petchey awards’ where only three students in the whole college received it for their outstanding contribution in the college, personal triumph who faced many challenges but pushed themselves in comfort zone, hardworking and perfect team player. Besides, those official awards. He rewarded many appreciation certificates from teachers and college.

He is sporty. Back home, he was passionate about boxing and won most of the boxing matches participated at. When arrived at UK, he started gym. I saw his volleyball skill is good too. He is interested in swimming but not very good at it. At school his favourite subject was maths and he passed Maths GCSE with a good result at the first year of his arrival in the UK.

He is open minded, honest, helpful, and show respecting everyone no matter which background they came from. Sometimes, he is impatient when hungry nocked his brain cells. Nevertheless, he always tries to be the best version of himself. Blow smoking in his face could lead to argue or even serious fight with him as he hates smoking. In addition, Dishonest people may not find their self-comfortable around him while conscientious person may find place straight to his heart cells.

Finally, he is obsessed for the future of himself with many dreams that may lead him to the peak of success if he put efforts towards them. And being an inspirational role model for people around him.”

Letters From Lockdown was part of Coram’s “Voices Through Time: The Story of Care” programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Learn about our upcoming creative projects for care-experienced 16 to 25 year olds.