52 Lives

#429 Douglas

Request: Donations / Gifts / Kind messages

This week, we’d like to help an 18 year old boy called Douglas.

When Douglas was a toddler, his mum would leave him at home alone. He wasn’t fed properly, he was physically abused and there were a huge amount of safeguarding concerns that Douglas still gets flashbacks about. One of his siblings was seriously injured and, after that, Douglas was placed into care. He was 3 years old.

During the next few years, he was moved between lots of different foster families as he was ‘hard to handle’. When he was a teenager, he found a family where he settled in and lived for a few years. But one night, the foster dad beat him badly and Douglas left. Douglas now has a diagnosis of PTSD due to this foster care experience. 

Douglas stayed on friends’ sofas and eventually ended up in a flat with some other students and a warden there to look after them. He is trying to turn his life around.

Douglas has kept working hard at school and had an offer from Cambridge last year…but he then had a year of poor attendance and didn’t get the grades he needed. His school allowed him to re-sit year 13, which is he doing now. Douglas lives on benefits, cooks and cleans for himself, on top of completing homework and getting himself ready for school each day - he has no one except his school championing him. 

Douglas was nominated by a Deputy Head Teacher at his school. She said: “We don’t usually allow re-sitting of Year 13 but, as it was Douglas, there was no way this kid was leaving us - we love him too much. This sweet, beautiful boy has had so much trauma and hurt that life is just so unfair for him at times .”

“He comes to school each day and we have breakfast with him. He works hard during the day and then goes home - but not after a hug and a 'love you' to each other. This kid deserves the world and more after what he has been put through. He just wants to be loved and cared for.”

Douglas is autistic and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He recently had a period of time where he was sectioned due to his poor mental health. He was suicidal, but with support from his teachers and mental health services, he is doing much better.

Douglas receives universal credit, but it’s a struggle. There are so many things that would make his life better, and we’d like to help provide them. We asked him to put together his dream wishlist…he said he would love a laptop for school, a guitar and some music software (he is studying music at A Levels), a coat, shoes, a haircut, some food vouchers and the cost of transport to Scotland so he can visit his friends (they all left last year, so he doesn’t have friends in his current year group).

We’d like to do all of this for him and more. We’d also like to send him lots of kind messages to let him know there are people out there who care about him.

What We Need

1. Donations: We'll use 100% of your donation to provide the things Douglas needs. You can donate online or by text message using the details below.

2. Gifts from a wishlist: We've set up a wishlist some gifts for him, as well as gift cards. To buy something from the list, please click the link below and choose the gift you'd like to buy - just tick 'this is a gift' and choose the 'gift registry address' when you check out and it will be sent directly to Douglas via his school. Buy a gift

3. Kind messages: To send a kind message for Douglas, you can post it to: 52 Lives (429), PO Box 3154, Reading, RG1 9AT.

Buy a Gift

Make a Donation

What We Did...

In one week we have raised more than £4500 in donations for Douglas and everything has been bought from his wishlist. This community has also sent an ABUNDANCE of kind messages and offers for him. The support you have surrounded him with has been incredible. Thank you all so much.  We have so far bought him a laptop, guitar, grocery vouchers, and a voucher to buy shoes. And his teacher is taking him shopping over the Easter holidays to help him choose some clothes with the vouchers you bought from his wishlist. We will share more updates soon!

This is the message his teacher sent after the gifts arrived...