Mate Hate

Yesterday, Greece voted no to a series of requirements from the European central bank, to allow them to be ‘bailed out’ of their financial difficulties. This is a massive world event but how do financial difficulties effect those we work with.

Young people with a learning disability are vulnerable financially as they tend to lack the interpersonal skills necessary to identify when someone is not being honest with them. We work with them to ensure that they begin to learn through underpinning and education that money management is a key part of being an adult.

Young people in care living away from family also have to learn within a protective environment how to manage their money. As an organisation we have always held the philosophy of ‘to every child a childhood’ and have therefore tried to ensure that our young people enjoy activities and holidays that will leave lasting memories. But what happens when they leave our care, this is where the real difficulty begins, restricted budget and little support to fall back on.

One theme that continues to haunt me is the concept of ‘mate hate’, for those of you who have not come across this before it is the concept of ‘friends’ who attach themselves to our young people, students, young adults, usually when they are living independently, pretending to be their friend.

When our young people move into their own accommodation, even age appropriate friends will not usually have ‘their own place’. Our kids become a magnet for people to doss around and cause a nuisance because there is no repercussions for them. Our kids tend to struggle to manage these ‘friends’ and often end up losing their accommodation as a result.

More worryingly and getting back to the financial costs, these ‘friends’ will often turn up on the day that the young person gets their weekly allowance, ‘helping’ them to spend it and then leaving them for the rest of the week with no money.

‘Mate Hate’ is real and is something we need to educate our young people about as early as we can, so that they can build some resilience and spot the signs early.

It’s what any good parent, or friend would do.

How can we do it better?

Keith Burley

Founder & CEO

Safety Net - Friend or Fake


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