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Cheria Raw

Deciding to follow your ambitions and come to university is not always a straightforward decision. Many students don’t have the support of family, and ambition and drive sometimes just isn’t enough – they need a helping hand and a listening ear. Cheria Raw grew up experiencing domestic abuse, but thanks to the support she received at the University of Sunderland, Cheria is now fulfilling her lifelong ambition working with children and families suffering from domestic abuse.

I grew up experiencing abuse and being stuck in that lifestyle. I wanted to find a way to help more children and young people who are living that childhood experience get the support they need. 

I was the only person in my family to go to university and I wasn’t in contact with my family or my foster families at the point of applying, so the We Care Team were all I had. They honestly moved heaven and earth to support me.  

The We Care Team have helped me more than pretty much anyone in my whole life. They’ve offered me 24/7 support, whether that’s someone to ring and have a rant or a breakdown to or to meet over some coffee and cake. They supported me not only on an academic level but also on a personal level. They were like a little family for me. 

Their all-round support played a major part in my boost in confidence whilst at university there were many times I was about to drop out, but they believed in me and supported me to complete my degree. 

When I told the We Care Team that I wanted to work with children and families suffering from domestic abuse they really supported me. They even helped during my application stage, and I got the job a few weeks before I graduated. Now I will get to support others, just as I’ve been supported.