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1. DHARMA MACGREGOR, AGED 18

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Dharma, 18, has been part of Move On’s Glasgow mentoring service for around three years.  She said: “I ended up in to the care system and through my social worker, I found Move On and we thought that it would be a good place for me to start.

“I was assigned a mentor and began working with them straight away. The mentoring has helped me so much. It has given me a chance to find new opportunities and meet new people.  It has made me much more confident when talking to people.”

Dharma has a new mentor now and they’re really getting on with each other.

“We do a weekly activity together. I was previously learning the guitar but that didn’t work out. Now we are doing drumming lessons at Glasgow Music Studios.

“Drumming isn’t something that I ever thought I’d be doing but it’s really enjoyable – I like it a lot.

“Move On has helped me find myself and given me a chance to figure out what I want to do in the future, where I want to go and what I’d like to do for a job. I’d like to work in the care sector or in youth work.

“I would recommend Move On’s mentoring service to young people in Glasgow who have experienced being in care.

 Dharma

2. OLIVIA CARLTON, AGED 18

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Olivia feels that her life has improved immensely since she became involved with Move On, she said: “I’m much more independent and confident. I do more things with my life, like singing lessons.

“I joined a course that I’m absolutely in love with and it’s all down to having the support from Move On.

“I’m not that girl anymore, the one who never knew if I could do this or do that, the one that didn’t want to try because she was negative and thought she’d fail. I’ve made great friends and I’m learning in a happy environment.

“Move On is helping me so much and I want to improve more and with the help from my course, my family, my mentor and Move On I believe I can do it. Life is a Lock you just have to find the key.”

 Olivia

3. EDWARD O’DONNELL, AGED 21

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Twenty-one-year-old Edward started Move On’s FareShare Employability Training in February 2016.

“I signed up to Move On after reading about the charity online. I had just completed a national certificate in Social and Health Care, and Working with Communities certificate at college and was unsure what direction to take.

“I had no idea how to gain training and experience for employment. I really felt I needed to work on my confidence and employability skills before joining the world of work.

“I took part in group training and met lots of new people, this really helped improve my communication and social skills. Move On has given me a new perspective on the road I see my future taking. The staff are so supportive, so much that I have become one of them.

“With new found confidence I have been for several interviews and since secured employment as a support worker and a second job in retail.

“I am extremely grateful for the help Move On has given me, I now feel that I have the focus and direction to succeed.”

 Edward

4. PAULA ARTHUR, AGED 29

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Paula completed the Move On peer education course in 2016, and has now trained as a mentor to support other young people to overcome difficulties. She has openly spoken about her experiences on the radio and met with Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing.

Paula said: “Doing the peer education course has helped me develop my personal skills and enabled me to work with people who’ve had similar experiences.

“I am currently working as a sessional development worker post at Move On Edinburgh and thoroughly enjoying my role.  I’m hoping this experience will open up more doors and opportunities within this sector.

“Move On has changed my life for the better. The staff have supported me in building up my people skills and self-confidence. They have given me the chance to develop a passion for helping other people with similar difficulties.

“Now, rather than being ashamed of past experiences I am accepting and learning that they can be valuable, in helping me to continue developing and improving myself towards a more fulfilling life.”

 Paula

5. KENNY CHURCH, AGED 44

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After spotting an advertisement in a newspaper for Move On volunteers, Kenny, 44, knew right away the job was for him.

He said: “I always knew the type of role I wanted to do, but I just never came across the opportunity. I wasn’t going to let this pass me by so I got in touch with Move On straight away.

“The training and hands on mentoring experience has opened my eyes to the challenges young people face growing up. It’s kind of made me look at parenthood in a different way too.”

“My experience at Move On and FareShare Glasgow has helped me secure a twelve-month position with the Wheatley Group Initiative.  The group accept unwanted furniture which is then cleaned up or reconditioned before being passed on to those in need.

“My aim for the future would be to go to college and study to hopefully become a youth support worker.  I believe that had if I had not become involved with Move On I would never have been able to realise this.

“If ever there was an organisation to help people achieve their goals and dreams, Move On is one I’d definitely recommend. The staff are the best ever.  They are always there for you no matter what the situation.

“The training is in depth and very professional.  It’s a must for anyone who wants to give something back to society and help out youngsters who are in need of some guidance in life.”

 Kenny

6. JACQUIE ANDERSON, AGED 57

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Jacquie has been a teacher all her working life dealing with teenage pupils from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds.

She’s always felt that some young people require a different approach than what a school can offer.

Jacquie said: “I decided to volunteer as a mentor at Move On. I knew that I could offer a different approach and could make a difference to those young people who needed extra support.

“I undertook 30 hours of training spread over Saturday mornings and worked with a variety of people with varied backgrounds and ages.

“The training at Move On was very thorough and enjoyable. It really prepared me for mentoring a young person for over a two-year period.

“Young people are not always easy to engage with and can present a range of issues but time and patience pays off when you see someone gaining confidence.

“Mentoring takes up only a small proportion of my time, but it can make a huge difference to someone.”

 Jacquie

7. STEPHEN CLARK, AGED 25

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Since Stephen, 25, was very young he had always wanted to be a soldier, just like his uncle and serve his country. He fulfilled that dream but his time at the army didn’t work out how he had planned it and he left under bad circumstances.

“I began to realise that I didn’t know what I wanted from my life and I was starting to isolate myself from friends and family. I thought that everyone was against me and I was having really negative thoughts. My self-confidence was dropping to the ground and I couldn’t seem to pick it back up.

“My mood started to become very low and I felt upset about the way life was turning out so I started using cannabis and alcohol to deal with my feelings. It got to a point where I could not leave my room or be in a social setting without having bad anxiety attacks which made me feel really irritable.”

Stephen’s irritability built up over time and he ended up getting into trouble with the police which led to him being homeless. He hit rock bottom and couldn’t see a way out.

“It was my social worker who told me about an organisation called Venture Trust. They have a chance for change programme that takes people who have offended out into the Scottish Highlands on a ten-day personal development course. It really helps clear your head and enables you to set goals for the future.

“I started to feel like a new man and I knew that I wanted to work with people suffering from homelessness or other social problems. I wanted to use my own experiences to help others not make the same mistakes that I did.

“I then heard about Move On and decided to apply for a positon as a trainee development worker and I got it.

“I love my job and everyone I work with is so nice, they are fantastic people. There is a great working environment within the charity and the work Move On does is truly amazing. It’s so inspiring when you see how committed the organisation is to changing lives and making a difference to the people who really need it.

 Stephen

8. DECLAN CANNON, 22

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Declan, 22, was first referred to Move On when he was just 15 years old. He was demonstrating long-term disengagement at school and was attending a social work initiative that supports young people.

Declan said: “I was going through a really turbulent part of my life. I had moved in with my grandad through kinship care because my housing situation was not particularly stable. There were issues within my family home which resulted in the social work department becoming involved.

“I was suffering from anxiety, exacerbated by the unstable position I was in at home. All of this was hindering me in grabbing any opportunities that came my way.

“Move On signed me up to their peer education programme, with the hope that it would push me out of my comfort zone and help me gain further qualifications.

“It was a breath of fresh air to me. It forced me to interact with other people in different social settings as well as enhancing my skills. I took part in courses that would increase my employability prospects.

“I was interacting with more people around my age and found myself taking more steps forward to becoming more comfortable with who I am.

“The opportunity came about to become a peer mentor with Move On. This was the most fantastic opening for me – it allowed me to work with young people from similar circumstances and to try and help them in any way I could.

“Today, I am a development worker with the charity. I’ve coordinated mentor matches, helped facilitate the employability programme and doing some of the outreach work in schools during term-time.

“It’s been really refreshing for me to take part from the other side and share my experience of Move On with other service users. I hope I am able to do the same for other people as Move On as done for me.”

 Declan

9. CHARLIE MCFARLANE, AGED 28

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Charlie was only seventeen when he joined Move on as a participant for the peer educator training. He said: “I didn’t know much about Move On at all, nor did I know that it would have such a massive impact on my life and my future.

“When I first started my training I was angry, I was competitive and I didn’t listen to others, I was really just a pain in the backside to most. As time went on with the support of the team at Move On, I developed as a person into who I am today.

“For many years the charity has helped me through various troubles in my life, including homelessness, gaining my own tenancy and most importantly helping me cope with my mental health.

“I have always felt welcome at Move On. Even when I turned up without an appointment, someone was always willing to give up their time to have a chat and help me with my problems. The support and love from the organisation is phenomenal – to be able to ask for help and advice, and never be turned down.

“I have been a volunteer peer educator for many years now within the organisation and I love nothing more than going out to assist with delivering various workshops with members of the Glasgow team.

“I honestly don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for the things I’ve learned and experienced at Move On. I have had many struggles but they’ve always been there.

“I have accessed the money debt advice services so many times and never seen so much commitment into helping others in my whole life. The one-to-one support is just so inspiring and enabled me to motivate myself and made me a much better person.

“I have held down several jobs and long-term volunteer opportunities while still accessing support at Move On. I always know that I can return for help and advice at any time and be welcomed with open arms and a cup of tea. Thank you Move On for all the support you have given me.”

 Charlie

10. DANIEL CARSON, AGED 25

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Twenty-five-year-old Daniel from Ayrshire decided to turn his life around after the birth of his baby daughter.

“I was in the jail for quite a bit. When I got out and moved from Ayrshire to Glasgow my stepdad put me in touch with Move On, he’s a volunteer mentor with the charity.

“I started as a volunteer myself in July this year and now I have a staff job working as a trainee warehouse operative. I’m currently doing the twelve-week employability course. It teaches you how to write a CV, interview skills and prepares you for employment.

“I had a lot of troubles before joining Move On and I wanted to get everything straightened out. I honesty wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the help that they have given me.

“Everyone is so supportive. If you have a problem they are willing to help. Not many places do that, especially in a working environment. Most employers don’t care what’s going on in your life but here at Move On they take a general interest. It has changed my life.

“I’m a lot more confident and positive about my future. It has altered my routine dramatically. Instead of lying in my bed until lunchtime, I’m up at 5.30am every morning and bright as a daisy for work.

“On top of that, if I hadn’t found Move On I probably would have ended up falling back into bad habits and getting into trouble.

“The main reason I really wanted to change my life around is for my daughter. She will be eight months old this week and she is my inspiration, I’m doing everything for her.”

 Daniel

11. LAURA BRYCE, AGED 25

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Twenty-five-year-old Laura, started her Move On journey in 2010, following a school leavers fair.

Laura, who was only sixteen at the time, was worried about finding employment and had no college or university course set up, she said: “I came from a deprived background and was brought up in a rural area. My friends at school were bullying me but I didn’t realise it at the time – I thought they were my friends.

“My confidence was so low I couldn’t even go to the local shop to buy bread. I spent my weekends out drinking with friends and doing stuff I shouldn’t have been doing.

“I signed up for Move On peer education course for something to do through the week. I was reluctant to give it a go at first because it was voluntary, but I was encouraged to stick to it and I am glad I did.

“Through participating in the programme, I learned new skills in planning, preparing and delivering games based workshops.  It really helped with my self-esteem and was a great opportunity for me to meet new people.

“When I secured a job with the Care Inspectorate as a young inspector –  my confidence shot through the roof. I was required to go to various care homes all over Scotland and work with young people. I seemed to grow with Move on and soon became a part of the furniture. I just love the place and what they had done for me.

“Because of Move On and their support I have been to work in India and spent a year in Poland.  I can honestly say that I would never have done these things without the support of everyone at Move On. They have helped me every step of the way.

“I was a shy, quiet person who was awkward in large groups.  Now I’m this outgoing person who isn’t afraid of a challenge and can manage any situation with confidence.

“I’m currently studying an HNC in working with communities and I have been accepted into university to do a degree. I would never have thought I would ever be going to university. I have made myself and my family proud.

“If you had asked me five years ago were I would be now I would have said nowhere. I am currently employed by the Simon Community as a support worker and I love my job. I have always dreamed of doing this type of work and now at the age of twenty-five I can now say I am happy.

“My goal for the future is to give back and hopefully one day I’ll be in a position to work and help vulnerable young people, the way Move On did with me. Thank you Move On, you are amazing.”

 Laura

12. YAN WU, AGED 18

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Yan was referred to the Move On mentoring service in May 2015 by a member of staff at the Multi-Cultural Family Base in Leith.  Yan had attended a few sessions with other young people from minority ethnic groups in the area.

Having moved to Edinburgh from China with his Mum aged 12, Yan had struggled with social isolation and low confidence ever since his relocation. Partly due to the difficulties in learning such a different language to his native one but also due to extreme pressures he faced to achieve highly academically.

The pressure he felt to prioritise his education over other things had contributed to him being very socially withdrawn.

Yan felt that not meeting with other young people was holding him back, he said: “I was a very shy boy years ago but was desperately wishing to get rid of the shyness.

“My social carer introduced Move On to me and I joined the mentoring scheme. It lasted about eighteen months and during that time I joined a lot of sporting activities and communications. Those particular experiences helped improve my self-esteem a lot.

“My mentor and the staff at Move On were very supportive and friendly to me. They helped me to promote my skills, especially my social skills. It gave me a lot more confidence and made me much more comfortable when communicating with peers and strangers. I don’t shake anymore when talking to a complete stranger.”

Yan has since started his four-year computer science degree at St. Andrews University.

“Following my graduation from high school, I able to apply the skills that I have acquired from the mentoring service at Move On.  It has helped me to remain calm about leaving my comfort zone and going to a university in a completely new environment to begin the new chapter of my life.”

 Yan

13. CHARLENE MCKELLAR, AGED 28

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Charlene, aged twenty-eight was living in hostel accommodation when she came across Move On.

“I was bored with nothing to do except sit around the hostel and it wasn’t long before I found myself getting in with the wrong crowd.

“I made my mind up that I needed to make a change and stop wasting my life or this path I was going down would eventually have a detrimental effect on my wellbeing.

“I got in touch with Move On in 2009 and applied to do a number of education and training courses. I trained to be a young care inspector and completed the FareShare employability programme.

“The training increased my self-confidence and my self-esteem massively, and it gave me the ability to venture out of my comfort zone.

“I was able to do a variety of courses at Move On that gave me the skills to seek and find employment. They helped me believe in myself, that I can achieve things in life and face day-to-day challenges.

“I ended up volunteering at Move On, helping others with education and training. I was able to give something back.

“Move On is such an amazing organisation. It’s like one big family and once you are involved with the service you won’t look back.

“I was away from the charity for nearly two years and when I returned, they were there to help me and gave me a place to go. Move On has an open-door policy which means no matter what you can always come back.

“I love Move On. They have supported me even when I’ve had a bad day. I’m currently using their services again and so grateful for everything they have done for me past and present.”

 Charlene

14. ALEXANDER BELL (ALLY), AGED 23

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Twenty-three-year-old, Alexander (Ally) Bell was first introduced to Move On by his pastoral care teacher while attending his 5th year at secondary school.

With a few concerns at home and outside of school, AlIy was in need of support and help with his personal development in order to deal and confront his issues.

Ally said: “I was matched with a suitable mentor after meeting a few different people and given an assigned key worker, Shug, who was such a great help to me during my time with Move On.

“My mentor and I had to choose an activity together to work on and learn – we chose break dancing. We got on brilliantly and learned so much and it also kept us both fantastically fit.

“Before I knew it I was practising all the time. Every day I was break dancing, any time I had free that’s what I’d be doing.

“After my mentor and I parted ways, I kept on break dancing. I’m still break dancing today and I have won a national title in my new-found passion.

“I have performed regularly on Buchan Street in Glasgow. I became Scottish Champion in 2012 and runner up in 2013. I was placed 8th at the UK championships and I won my school talent show.

“Today, I perform at festivals and shows around Scotland, I teach break dancing across the country following my dance studies at college and I’ve also appeared as an extra in the Streetdance 2 movie.

“Move On completely changed my life for the good and introduced me to a hobby that has become my career and my life. They pushed me to achieve better things and helped me be a better person.

“Anyone who has the chance to be involved with Move On and their mentoring programmes should jump at it and really make the most of it. I hope it continues to help and better people for many more years to come.”

 Ally

15. STEVEN MCKINSTRY, AGED 32

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Homeless, unemployed and suffering from mental ill health, Steven, 32, found his long-term relationship breaking down and was soon referred to Move On by his keyworker at the Salvation Army’s supported accommodation.

Needing support to pull himself out of his situation and an eagerness to help others with similar plights, Steven joined Move On’s peer education programme. He said: “I had occasions where I had a lot of self-doubt and I was exasperated by my mental health issues.

“With the support and supervision of the volunteer peer educators at Move On I was able to get my life back on track and set goals for the future.

“I was determined to overcome my problems and after completing the course I successfully gained employment as a live-in carer.

“I was offered the opportunity to train as a mentor volunteer at Move On and jumped at the chance. At first, I felt a little out of my depth but with the training I grew in confidence.

“I have a real passion for music, performing and music writing. The confidence that Move On has given me helped me apply for a place on a music course at Glasgow College.

“Now in my third year, with the support and knowledge I gained at Move On I have been able to launch my own music teaching business, teaching song writing, music theory and singing. Everything that Move On has taught me will continue to help me in the future.”

 Steven

16. GRANT MCROBERTS, AGED 22

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Grant, 22 from Blackhill, joined Move On in 2016. Unsure as to what the future held for him he began Move On’s 12-week employability programme.

Struggling to get a job and doing a lot of different courses, Grant said: “What I really needed help with, was the application forms and the skills required to successfully gain employment.

“The employability course at Move On has taught me so much. I’ve learnt all about warehousing at the FareShare Glasgow depot. I’ve passed my food hygiene course and covered manual handling, and had lots of work experience on the depot floor.

“I am now employed with Move On as a trainee warehouse operative. That’s a huge achievement for me. I have learned to be part of a working team and can do so much more than I could before. I have a lot more confidence in myself and of what I am capable of.

“I love my job here at FareShare. I love assisting with the supervising of the volunteers and knowing that I am helping vulnerable people. I can give something back and teach them what I have learned.”

 Grant

17. CARRIE ANNE DEVLIN, AGED 34

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Carrie Anne, 34 came across Move On’s volunteering programme two years ago. She said: “I was looking for something that would allow me to work with young people out with my daily educational setting.

“The mentor training was eye opening, informative, intense and extremely rewarding all at once. I volunteer one night a week and in those few hours I spend with my match, I can be myself.

“I can provide support and advise or just general conversation. The main focus is for us to have fun and enjoy each other’s company, while working towards achieving a common goal.

“Move On has not only allowed me to work with some of Glasgow’s more vulnerable young people, it has also given me the opportunity to part of the Move On family.”

 Carrie Anne

18. LEWIS HOLMES, AGED 16

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Lewis, 16 is currently working at Move On’s Fareshare Glasgow and West of Scotland depot.

Unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, he soon found himself directed on to Move On’s employability programme.

He said: “I left school with no qualifications. It was only after joining Move on that I started to realise that I really enjoy doing volunteering and in the warehouse environment. I found my first week a bit weird, meeting lots of new people I didn’t know, but once I started talking to them it got easier and I realised that the people on the course were easy to get along with.

“By the end of the Move On course I will have my manual handling, my food hygiene, core skills communication and SQA employability award level 3.

“Move On has helped build up my confidence in a working environment and given me the requirements I need ready for employment in the future. I am really enjoying my time here and will soon be moving on to volunteering on the warehouse floor. By the end of my volunteering I hope to get on the reaching higher training programme and I want to get a permanent job in a warehouse environment.”

 Lewis

19. TERESA BELL, AGED 25

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Teresa began her Move On journey in 2009 as a mentee. After a successful mentoring match, she worked to improve her confidence and learn essential employability skills.

Teresa said: “My self-assurance and social skills grew a great deal when I became involved with Move On. I was a very shy and nervous person before but the charity really helped me develop and be myself.

“I learned a lot about applying for jobs and gained all the skills needed to seek employment. After completing a social care academy course, I was offered a job with a care home. Unfortunately, the job fell through when the care home closed. I felt so disheartened.

“It was Move On who picked me up again and supported me through a retail course with the Princes Trust.  I ended up working in a placement with Marks and Spencer’s – this really helped my self-confidence.

“2014 was a very difficult year for me when a relationship came to an end and I had to cope with losing my tenancy unexpectedly. With the help of Move On I explored my rights and options and they supported me in trying to find a route forward.

“For four years I worked as a peer educator at Move On, delivering peer education sessions to mainstream high schools across Edinburgh. I am now employed with the autism initiative as a support worker and helping people develop their independence and enabling them to make their own choices.

“I’ve just got engaged and moved into a flat with my fiancée, we’re getting married next year. Move On has completely changed my life, if it wasn’t for all the support over the years I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

 Teresa

20. DOUGIE WEMYSS, AGED 48

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Dougie, 48, first came to Move On back in 2000. He was homeless and had no support networks in place or family and friends to help him. Attempting to manage his drug habit through a methadone prescription, Dougie was referred to Move On through the Glasgow Drugs Crisis Centre.

With the support of the crisis centre team, Dougie began his Move On journey and attended an open day. The minute he stepped in the door he sensed the friendly environment and warm welcome – the key factor in encouraging him to take his first steps to a better future.

With a new focus and frame of mind, Dougie said: “I started a five-day week personal development programme, offering creative and activity opportunities and attended a regular support group. Twelve months I stuck with the training and I barely missed a day. I would turn up early, often at the door waiting to get in.

“It felt so different from my previous experiences of social work, prison and probation services.

“When I first came to Move On, I was at a very low point. The structure of the training, the support of the staff and the peers in the group helped me stay committed and turn up every day.”

Still caught up in his fight with addiction, Dougie took a dip in his battle and found himself living on the streets once more. His drug use had declined but alcohol remained a barrier in taking his life forward.

With another long prison sentence to experience, it was 2004 before Dougie managed to overcome his addiction issues for good and put his future back on track.

He recalls being challenged by Move On staff in a firm and positive manner, Dougie said: “At that time, there wasn’t anything I liked about myself, even looking in the mirror was hard.  Move On gave me that wee bit of space away from the chaos that my life was.

“They never judged me, but treated me with respect and encouraged me to think about the future with the important thing being – it’s not about where you have been but where you are going.”

Seventeen years on and having spent many years working as an addiction worker, Dougie now supports vulnerable young people into work.

Looking back on his own experience, Dougie can now see it as a gradual process, he said: “I realise now how much I was changing during that time and can now identify with my own denial throughout my addiction. There were a lot of positive steps along the way. I gained a lot of support and help from friends, and I was presented with lots of opportunities but it was once I joined Move On that things started to change for the better.”

 Dougie


Dharma Olivia Edward Paula Kenny Jacquie Stephen Declan Charlie Daniel Laura Yan Charlene Ally Steven Grant Carrie Lewis Teresa Dougie
Dharma Olivia Edward Paula Kenny Jacquie Stephen Declan Charlie Daniel Laura Yan Charlene Ally Steven Grant Carrie Lewis Teresa Dougie
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