Staff Spotlight – Carla Mayer

How long have you been working for PCC? 

Since the beginning – in 2002 we started with just four girls who’d come alone to the UK. One was from Rwanda – another Congo, Vietnam and Eritrea. When I was 16 – I was living at home working on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) with a local travel agent. The differences of their lives compared to mine, well, there was no comparison really. 

The first year spent getting to know the girls and observing all that they had been through and experienced was a massive deal for me. I grew up and have learned to moan a lot less – I’ve more of a thankful heart than before. 

The Congolese girl had a 1-year old boy – the same age as my son – they are 17 years old now and have both turned out lovely. I struggled as my son had his dad and brothers and the rest of our family. She just had her son and I often felt guilty about that.

Now we have created our own PCC family with 27 young people living across various houses in North London. We encourage them to make friends with one another and hold events where they can socialise and feel a sense of belonging.

Favourite TV programme or film: 

Favourite film is Sense and Sensibility and TV programme has got to be Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – no Atlanta – no Orange County definitely Real Housewives of Orange County. 

Favourite musician at moment: 

Adele and Alecia have always been with me over the years. I’m enjoying Khalid, a newcomer I like his voice and the tunes flow.

Favourite thing of the job:

It’s got to be the young people. Most are such a pleasure and I feel privileged to know them whilst watching them progress. I really appreciate this job as I feel it’s made me a better person.

What job would you be doing if you weren’t doing this job? 

A nurse – I like caring for people.

Something you would like to see different in your work: 

I’d like leopard print aprons with a diamond PCC logo on and nice hoody tops as a uniform for our Key Workers.

Guilty pleasure: 

Love Island

Favourite PCC story: 

There are so many, so I’m going to tell two.

One boy got caught selling fake ciggys down Holloway Road, so I had to go on a Saturday afternoon to the police station to be his appropriate adult.After he got out, we walked a bit and went separate ways, he didn’t have bus fare so I gave him money that he said he’d pay back because he was hungry.

Twenty minutes later the police stopped me because they saw me on CCTV give him money and they thought I was part of the gang selling illegal ciggys. I wasn’t!!!

Another story is about a young man from Afghanistan – I always called him Happy Bulah because he was so funny, and we really had a good connection.He had come to the UK alone at 16, he’s a small chap with a lot of chat.He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and he really missed his mum. At times he couldn’t get out of bed and wouldn’t eat – it took him a while to settle.

Ten years later, he now has his own business, looks after his family who have moved to Pakistan and he’s learned to drive. He bought a one bedroom flat in North London and has recently married a lovely lady who used to look after his mum.