Sunshine after Rayne

Rayne O’Brien runs a care leavers forum, raises money so they can eat together, and has helped improve healthcare for them. All the more remarkable then that she was once a care leaver herself

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When Rayne O’Brien was taken into care at age 13, the worst thing about it was being separated from her siblings.

“One of my brothers was ten years younger than me so he was only three,” she says, “I had never seen or spoken to a social worker in my life before this night. I had no idea what was going on.”

Instructed to take only her school uniform, which she carried in a bag for life, she was placed in an emergency foster placement and spent the following years in and out of care. At 18 she lived in supported lodgings for a year, which was “basically like renting a room in someone’s house” and then was “dumped in a council flat” a year later, losing all her friends. 

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Photo: Aaron Bray

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