Joanna Manning, National Lead Substance Misuse, The Children’s Society People have always seen the potential in me Expand As someone who entered the sector in 1991 as a volunteer with few qualifications, I welcome your campaign. I left grammar school at 16 with no qualifications and little aspiration. Although I always kind of felt I had something to offer – empathy and understanding. I grew up in a working class family who didn’t go to university or have degrees, plus as a family we had our own share of dysfunction and stress to deal with. In my career I have been lucky and people have always seen the potential in me and looked beyond qualifications. As a manager in a children’s charity I too have done the same with others and the service and especially the service users have benefitted as a result.