Little yellow car





My brother and I had a rough childhood. He is my younger brother by 7 years and he has ADHD to add to the mix. Our parents spilt from their abusive relationship and we lived in a refuge with my mum. My brother was 16 months old and I was 8. I had a social worker who used to pick me up and take me to a therapy group for children who had witnessed domestic abuse.

As I grew older my mum became very avoidant of services and teachers and anyone really who tried to tell her how she should or should not be parenting my brother, so at that point my 18 year old self had to step up and attend ‘Team around the child’ meetings and deal with school, etc. in order to help my mum and ultimately be there for my brother. I had no idea at that time that this IS fundamentally social work.

I chose Little Yellow Car because …      

… It was my brother’s from when he was quite young. It’s a toy car, a yellow, very battered mini. He is the reason I initially started my career helping and supporting people.

Two months after I started my social work training, Covid had hit and I needed to create a space in my house to work from, (I now live in my mum’s old house, our permanent safe home after the refuge days, in fact). So I was clearing out the spare room which had been my brother’s bedroom for many years and I found this yellow toy car, with its battered exterior and black, hand-painted roof (thanks to my brother’s need to modify everything!) and I instantly remembered the whole journey that has brought me to where I am right now.

That toy car now sits on the desk where I work every day, a reminder that each day is a journey for myself and the people I encounter. When I look at the car I remember no matter how difficult the journey has been the wheels can keep turning, opening up new opportunities. 

When other people come into my office they all go straight for the toy car and give it a push while asking ‘why is that in here?’; and I simply smile and say because I like it.

One thought on “Little yellow car”

  1. What an amazing story! I have read it a couple of times now because it is so powerful and so honest and so true in its reflection on a journey, even if battered and with “rough” handling. Even reflecting on the hand-painted roof says something about change. Your journey in becoming a social worker clearly shows a deeply rooted need to ‘help and support people’ (in your own words). I wish you well in your studies and in your career and as an individual with exceptional qualities.


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