Graduate supports National Adoption Week

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Date: 20th Oct 2017

A Buckinghamshire New University graduate who was taken into care when she was just three-years-old has spoken about her experiences in support of National Adoption Week.

Honey Darwood graduated with a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Psychology this year and says her life was transformed through being adopted and said it gave her a chance of 'a brighter future'.

After spending time with three different foster families, she was adopted aged five and credits adopted parents Brian and Kim for completely changing her life.

She said: “I went into school not really having had the best start in life so I was quite behind, but my adoptive mum was a teacher so while other people were making allowances for things she was encouraging them to push me and that’s what I needed.

“It sounds really clichéd, but being adopted was genuinely life changing.”

Honey is now applying for jobs in the prison service, where she hopes to use cognitive behavioural therapy to help inmates reflect on what they’ve done and prevent them from reoffending.

Speaking about studying at Bucks New University, she added: "I would like to mention the Counselling team because they were fantastic when it came to me wanting to talk to someone about the reasons behind my adoption.

"They were the first 'outsiders' to be completely non-judgemental and they are the reason I have so much confidence talking about my story now.

"I think the Department of Psychology is fantastic. There is a great team at Bucks New University who are incredibly supportive and motivational. They show confidence in their students and it rubs off! If it hadn’t have been for them I never would have even thought about having my dissertation read at the International Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference.

"I would also like mention the work of Bucks Students’ Union, because I was able to get involved in some really great events and fundraising roles. It also gave me the opportunity to be a Student Trustee and help bring about even more positive change in and at the University. All of the volunteering and work I did with the Students’ Union has really helped with CV building and gaining relevant experience."

Honey is now about to start a job working with care leavers.

She added: "I’m really not sure I would have got my A Levels, got my degree and got where I am now if I hadn’t been adopted. Life in general is so much better than I think it would have been.

“I have the chance to build a brighter future and I just have a better chance in life than I would have had.”

Honey is now encouraging other families to consider adoption.

The focus of National Adoption Week this year is sibling groups and, although Honey was not adopted with her own siblings, her adopters already had an adoptive son and she is in no doubt about the benefits of families adopting brothers and sisters.

She said: “By adopting siblings the children have another form of support. I wasn’t always very confident in other adults but with my older brother I had that extra support and someone to look out for me.

“That definitely made things easier for me and it helped having someone who completely understood things from my perspective.”

Picture captions: Honey Darwood with adopted parents Brian and Kim; and with Senior Lecturers Dr Barbara Kingsley and Dr Julia Robertson.

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