Dan’s story is unlike most.
He was born in Southend and lived with his Mum and Dad. However, a breakdown in his parent’s relationship saw the youngster move to Cardiff with his Mum.
After arriving, Dan’s Mum found herself suffering with an addiction to drugs. A lack of help and support networks meant she would have to put her son into care for his best interests.
Dan said: “She ended up literally having to put me in care after struggling to get help herself, they didn’t take me. This gave me a sense of freedom I suppose. Although it didn’t help that my step-dad refused to take care of me”.
Whilst in care, Dan moved between several foster homes, never truly settling. Uneasiness and uncertainty was however relived through a newfound calling, magic. With David Blaine as his idol, Dan honed his skills through self-tuition:
“I was 14 when I started learning magic tricks. I would practice by watching videos. From there I picked it up from tutorials. At the start, it was just a hobby. I noticed that when I was stressed I would do stuff with my hands a lot. First it was gaming, and then it was magic. It was a sort of coping mechanism. Now I always have a deck on me”.
Following on from his time in foster care, Dan was looked after by Llamau, a registered charity that helps people deal with issues such as homelessness. There he was placed in housing with people from several backgrounds.
On his way to independent living, Dan found himself looking for a place in full time education. With the advice of those at the care system and Llamau, Dan chose the Foundation’s Degree course, A Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching & Development.
Dan spoke about his educational experience and how he got there:
“I was given options, and this was the option that interested me and gave me the best chance of success. I’ve been on the course since September and I’m enjoying it. It’s a two-year course with the option of a top up, something I intend to do”.
Outside of the Foundation, Dan now finds himself in a settled situation. He has lived in student accommodation since his 18th birthday, something that is funded for by the care system and will see Dan remain registered until he is 21. Dan also works alongside Llamau at events, where he helps out as an entertainer, showcasing his magic. He spoke on the matter:
“I am doing events for Llamau now. I’ve performed at the last two and they are trying to get me in for the next event. The first event was in Hensol castle – it was pretty insane”.
He harbours hopes of one day fulfilling his dream of moving to America:
“Long term, the plan is to move to America. It has always been that and I’d love to do it. I don’t know whether I’d like to go into coaching or something else. For now, I just want to keep as many options open as possible”.
For more information about the Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching & Development, please contact Angharad Llewelyn by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 029 20 231 212.