AN Ardrossan man has revealed the horror of growing up in the care system and why it needs to change.

Jamie Dalgoutte, 25, was handcuffed to rabbit hutches and punched in the head when he was just a little boy by carers in Ardrossan.

The Glasgow University student was in care from six months old to 21 and had 14 different foster families by the time he was five.

His mum tragically suffered ‘a variety of addictions’ and his dad refused to accept his parental duties.

It meant Jamie was on his own and left feeling spat out by the system and unwanted by everyone.

Jamie said: “As a wee boy I remember it feeling like I was the coffee sweet in box of chocolates, everyone avoids it and if they do try it they often just spit it right back out.

“Being a foster carer is choice so if a child becomes too challenging they can give up whenever they want, so it felt a bit unfair.

“Some families were nice, some weren’t.

“I remember spending Christmas at some of the places and it was pretty horrible, there was no presents or anything like that.

“I ended up getting abused by that family for nine months.

“The thing I felt the most was just complete fear everyday.

“I just wanted my mum, I used to run away all the time to get back to her.

“Then she died when I was 10, it was more hard on my adult life trying to process it.”

When Jamie was a teenager he decided he wanted to turn his life around, and the key to that was focusing on his education.

He became determined to pass his exams and go to university.

Jamie said: “I realised at that point my life was only going one or two ways and my exams were going to define that.

“I felt like If I didn’t do well I wouldn’t get opportunities, so my own mindset at that point as well as those around me giving me some emotional and forms of support.

“That is what needs to change system, love. There is a big care review happening just now and charities have trying to encourage the whole system to promote love.

“I am now at university doing a placement in community development to learn how to work with communities to give them the skills and confidence to overcome, I guess, oppression and challenges.

“It would help mostly impoverished communities so my work is with disadvantaged groups to empower them so they can define their own lives.

“I have now started my new job working with the council to help Syrian families who arrive in Scotland by teaching them basic English and help settle them in.

“I left care when I was 21 got Olivia, my Labrador, straight away.

“I always wanted one growing up but wasn’t allowed so in the spirit of defining my own life I went and got myself a dog.

“I wanted to raise the dog and give it the love I should have got and one day that will transfer to my own child.”