Avid care-experienced campaigner and NYAS Trustee, Terry Galloway, is a name sure to be recognised in the children’s social care sector. His ongoing campaign to have ‘care-experience’ recognised as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010) has seen him appear on news programmes across the country. We caught up with Terry to learn more about the man behind the movement…

Terry Galloway is a force to be reckoned with. His drive to see change for children and young people in the care system is admirable, working day and night to create a better care experience for the younger generation. Unfortunately, it is from a lived experience that this passion comes from.

“We were just in and out of care. There was domestic violence, and we were put into foster care. I was in a foster home with my sister, and they started abusing us. The police removed us from the home, but from that point, the trauma and damage had begun.”

Terry and his siblings were reunited with his mother several times, but each attempt broke down and they were placed back into the care system. By the time Terry had left care he had lived in over 100 places, The plan for him was always long term foster care, sibling separation and a life without his mum.

After turning 18 and facing the cliff-edge of care, Terry struggled to pull himself out of the challenging circumstances life had dealt him: “When you come from the care system and you get dumped, you tend to radiate back towards your family, and they can be quite chaotic and toxic. I didn’t have the greatest start in life [after care].”

Securing a job as a mystery shopper when he left care, Terry’s career has been varied, and included dabbling in the rave scene as a promoter, working in leisure and tourism and as a market researcher. Eventually whilst in the motor industry, Terry found himself campaigning for care-experienced children and young people alongside his nine-to-five. He realised that this was where his true passion lay, and this has shaped his career into what it is today.

In 2016, Terry set up his own estate agency business in Nottingham to give him the freedom to continue with campaigning to make the care system a better place. He has since also set up a not-for-profit organisation that provides supported accommodation for care leavers up to the age of 21.

“I realised that I needed to set up my own firm because then I could do the campaigning as well. When I am working for somebody else, I can’t go to campaigning meetings on their time.”

It is clear from his professional endeavours that providing support for care-experienced young people is important to Terry, but when asked why he decided to step into the political sphere and campaign on behalf of children and young people in care, for Terry that answer is simple: “I have the power to do it. This is about giving them a voice.”

Growing up Terry often felt silenced and alongside his sister, Hazel, they both experienced discrimination first-hand. When Hazel was being treated in hospital after suffering with poor mental health, Terry says she was looked upon with ‘distain’ by healthcare professionals because of her care-experienced status.

“She was treated like a kind of second-class citizen when really it was just a response to her trauma. She was crying out for help.”

Hazel went on to have children of her own, who were also placed into the care system. She was vulnerable and she wanted to be loved, says Terry, but she fell victim to domestic abuse and was later killed by her partner.

Driven to make change so that others in the care system don’t have to go through what he and his family have, Terry launched his protected characteristics campaign. The national campaign is working to try to get councils to acknowledge care experience the same way they do with other protected characteristics including age, disability and race. Terry travels up and down the country to meet with local authorities and call on them to protect those in care, or who have been in care, from discrimination.


So far, 92  councils across the country have committed to treating care experience as a protected characteristic. That means over 26.7 million people now live in a council area that will consider care-experience when making decisions.

Alongside his campaigning efforts, Terry is also a trustee at NYAS. In this role, Terry helps ensure that NYAS continues to grow and progress in our mission to empower children, young people and adults in vulnerable situations.

“It’s been brilliant. I’ve felt heard, which is quite a unique experience to me. The work that is going on in Wales with Project Unity is really close to my heart because my sister had children who were taken into care.”

While Terry continues his fight for equality for care-experienced people, he has this advice for those living in care: “Everybody deserves to have an exceptional life and the best life for them. But there's only one person that's going to make that happen, and that is you. Use the resources you have, no one else is going to do it for you.”

Spotlight is a new series which will share the stories, experiences and expertise of people from across the children’s social care sector. From campaigners and policy makers to those with lived experiences, it provides a platform for people to discuss the topics that mean the most to them and share more about their ongoing work.

Learn more about Terry’s campaign by following him on X and LinkedIn, or by visiting the Care Leaver Offer.