Claire was 15 and living in a children’s unit. Claire was struggling. She felt like the staff only paid attention when she did something wrong and on the night she left she had an altercation with another young person and arguments with the staff about her curfew.
Claire decided to leave the unit and travelled to Glasgow. She snuck on the train to London wearing her pyjamas, and had a blanket and charger with her.
On the train Claire sat next to a family who looked nice and seemed safe to sit next to. The family consisted of the mum, a baby who was about 6 months old, and a teenager around her age. The family were really nice and shared sunflower seed with Claire. She spent time talking to them and ignored her phone. The family didn’t seem suspicious when she told them she was going to visit family.
As she travelled, Claire was worried about what she had done and that she had gone too far. She didn’t know how she was going to get home and knew that when she got back to the unit her phone would be taken away from her.
When she got to London, Claire wandered around a police station for a while before handing herself into the police. The police Claire initially saw were less nice, they lectured her about what she had done and Claire felt like she was getting into trouble. She slept in the police office until the traffic police came and got her and took her home on the train. Luckily these officers were really nice and funny. They got her breakfast and chatted to her on the journey.
Back in Glasgow, the unit staff collected her, she went back to the unit and did have her phone was removed as she hadn’t answered their calls. Claire learnt from what had happened and felt as though the fear of the punishment stopped her from running away again. Positively, she was also able to change her behaviour with staff and this resulted in her getting the later curfew she initially wanted.