John’s story

I would like to take you back in time, and tell you about a lonely little boy from Glasgow.

The boy was born and brought up in very difficult circumstances. He lived through a childhood of extreme poverty, sometimes not going to school because he didn’t have the right clothes or shoes to wear. On the 27th of February 1964, a cold winter’s night, the little boy’s father came home drunk and started arguing with the little boy’s mother again. Things went from bad to worse, and before the little boy knew it, his mother had been knocked unconscious by his father.

That night, the boy and his sister were put out on the streets of Glasgow to fend for themselves.

Hurting, cold and heartbroken, the RSSPCC (now known as Children 1st) was informed. They picked the little boy and his sister up, and helped them through that night, and the days and nights that followed. All the little boy wanted was to feel safe and what every child on this earth needs: Love. But his childhood died before it ever got started.

This little boy is called John McGurk. This little boy was me.

As a young adult, when I looked back and thought about my childhood, I found nothing but pain and a big black hole. I felt so undignified and had a never-ending feeling of shame.

Thankfully I can tell you I found my way back to life and I made a decision that as long as I live, I will never walk with my head down again. I will help as many vulnerable children as possible and show them that even if you are born with nothing, it does not mean that you are nothing.

Children 1st are at the centre of my heart. They picked me up all those years ago when I really needed help. I’m sure, like me you’ll be shocked and saddened to know, 55 years on, there are still children in Scotland whose childhoods are being destroyed by poverty. Please help by making a donation. 

Together we can give every child the chance of a childhood.