Updated: Apr 10
This is a true life, hobo to hero story.
Casey, is the artist who produces the art at After Charcol.
Leaving home at the age of 16.
Friend waiting in the car in the drive. Having to launch the bag out of the window, so as not to raise any suspicion from her parents.
As she snuck out of their home.
Her early teen years at school, had taught her that there would be no place for her in society.
Although Casey tried hard at school, academic study was an uphill struggle. Too conscious to wear her glasses to read, and often wanting to sit at the back of class, so as not to be asked to read out loud. Casey struggled to see the board and in recent years, has found out that she is dyslexic but during school years, she just presumed she was thick.
As she watched her academic class mates gain constant encouragement from teachers, as they eagerly prepared themselves for a future outside of school.
Casey found the same encouragement not readily coming her way, as she wanted to follow her passion for sculpture but was discouraged by her peers, as this was not a realistic career path to choose in their opinion.
Ever since she was given her first pack of plastercine as a young child, it was obvious Casey had a gift for sculpture.
Copying characters off of the TV at a very young age with precision, where as her younger sister Charlie, would just about manage to create greyish blobs.
By the time she was leaving school. Her only experience of using sculptural materials was plastercine work she would do in her spare time and a bit of pottery in art class.
Art class was prodominantly drawing and painting which she was also good at.
She had been told by her art teacher however, that she'd never make it as a sculptress and achieve her dream, it was too competitive and she wasn't good enough, so make another career choice.
Something more achievable. Secretary, data entry perhaps.
Feeling like society had nothing for her when she left school.
She turned to smoking and taking drugs.
Cross country used to be another class Casey excelled in but now the time was used to get in front of the other runners, so she could hide in a hedge and smoke weed. Getting a lift back on the milk float, just coming in 3rd or 4th place, so as not to raise suspicion.
Class A's soon became something Casey also excelled in.
By the age of 13, Casey was smoking high grade weed. Taking LSD and magic mushrooms.
By 16, she's was heavily into MDMA and amphetamine and was loving every minute of it.
She was an A class drug taker, make no mistake.
By now, becoming estranged from her loving family, because her parents, believe it or not, didn't want her to take drugs, came next on the list.
By the age of 16.
After many attempt at running away from home because all she wanted to do was get high and party.
By the time she was 17. She was living on the streets of Wells. Homeless, sitting in penniless porch and camping in a tent in the bishops barn.
Listed as a missing person.
Taking drugs. Stealing. Raving.
Having an awesome time, whilst her family were being tortured daily, not knowing where she was.
She was finally arrested at the age of 17, as she'd been caught stealing 200 quids worth of goods.
Included in the booty, was a talking alien, which put pay to the excuse when asked, 'why do you steal?'
For food, was the reply.
Casey was brought home by police, to a devastated family.
They had never wanted her to leave but now it was abundantly clear that once the police had gone. She wouldn't stay.
They had lost control.
The law stated a child could leave home at 16, there was nothing they could do about it, even though it also stated that they were legally accountable for their child until 18.
The police didn't press charges. They could see that the family communication had broken down. That all we needed was support to get us back on track and to give me a record would of ruined my future chances of success.
This had taught me a lesson though.
When the buttons went down in the back of the police car, there was no escape.
She never wanted her freedom taken again.
The freedom fighter was born.
The rave scene was in full flow.
All she wanted to do was join the convoy to find the next rave and get absolutely twated.
Escapism high on the list of daily activities.
Casey was born from the one love generation. The rave scene is responsible for her loving all life attitute.
It moulded her sense of being.
The most important thing in life is connection.
Love is the answer to all things.
The rave culture was the world she understood.
She was on a road to remove herself from society that she felt to be cruel and uninclusive.
Rebellion was next on the list.
Animal rights activist,
Free the weed
Free the streets
Criminal justice bill
Anti badger cull
Among the many protests Casey was involved in as the years rolled on.
Learning, it doesn't matter how many people stand together and say no, the government will do what they want anyway.
Too many people don't stand is the problem.
Just happy to complain over their cornflakes in the morning to anyone who will listen.
The government are supposed to work for us aren't they?
By the mid to late 90s, as friends had started to settle down.
A new understanding began to take charge.
If she wanted something in life, she had to go get it herself.
The world doesn't ow you a favour.
Famous words from her father but suddenly they seemed to resonate.
She went back to college, to study animation in 1997, at Bridgewater College and the doors to further educating herself began to open.
From college, she walked straight into a job at Asylum. One of the most prestigious prop houses in London.
Then went back to University and studied animation for another 3 yrs. Before entering the working world in London.
It would still be another 10 years before Casey made it into the film industry.
So many stories along the way, one day she'll have to write an autobiography but long story short.
Casey now works in film.
Her dream has come true.
2 people made it into film from The Blue School Wells.
Edgar Wright, who was responsible for Hot Fuzz and Casey Nadine Banwell.
Latest titles include:
Many more over a career that has spanned over 8 years.
The film industry provides an income, allowing Casey the financial freedom to pursue another vendetta.
The fight for animal rights world wide and as a by product, saving the planet.
Casey, along with her best friend Emma, have now raised over 5,500 pounds and have bought, 46 acres of rainforest through the sale of art.
All not for profit, just costing them their time.
Pretty good going for a project born from lockdown.
Casey also turned fully vegan during lockdown. She had been vegetarian for 12 years but the time to study nutrition during lockdown, enabled her to make that final leap.
She also runs over 3 miles a day.
Don't let anyone tell you, you wont achieve your dreams.
Dreams are made of dedicated time.
Put in the hours and you'll get where you want to go.
I hope this inspires you to follow your heart.
Be kind and respectful to all life.
Don't blindly involve yourself in cruelty just because it tastes good.
Be strong, tell the world it's wrong.