Natasha Williams, currently studying a PhD at the University of Westminster, has received £500 from Gradconsult, which will help young victims disclose their experiences through storytelling and sketching.
Natasha, originally from Leicestershire, began her PhD in 2017 and is now celebrating becoming one of six winners, selected from over 300 entries, of a grant from Gradconsult - a Sheffield-based specialist in graduate recruitment, learning and development.
The grants aim to help new researchers and early career academics get a head-start with funding bids, starting their portfolio of funded research to enable them to secure larger funding bids and conduct research in their field in the future.
38-year-old Natasha used personal experience to focus her research. Growing up in a single parent family with siblings and a mother who suffered from depression, Natasha has overcome significant setbacks, becoming homeless at just 16. She is now working towards her PhD, while raising her two children.
Her research will examine how drawing, and the art of storytelling, can be of use to foster carers and people who are working to help people deal with their pasts.
She said: “My employment history involved working with vulnerable women and children who were at risk of a range of abuse, and also working with adults who had acute mental health issues.
“I am currently in negotiations with the charity Barnardo’s, as I hope to access their foster carers and work with their child trafficking team”.