Katherine Morgan-Davies (Kitty) came to Swarthmore to complete her Functional Skills Level 1 English. Her book tells the story of 30 years in captivity in a cult in London and how she escaped.
Katherine Morgan-Davies (Kitty) came to Swarthmore in 2015/16 to completer her Functional Skills Level 1 English. It transpired over a number of months as Kitty divulged information to her tutors, that she had been born into a cult in London and having spent all of her life indoors, with no experience of ordinary everyday life, had only recently escaped after 30 years in captivity.
It was clear to her teachers that she had a good level of literacy, she joined a creative writing workshop at Swarthmore in addition to studying for her GCSE English. She showed a real talent for the written and spoken word, although she had never been to school. Whilst in captivity she had access to books and read at every opportunity she had, albeit in secret, and her grasp of English especially grammar and spelling is astonishing.
When the GCSE students did their presentations for the speaking and listening part of the exam, Kitty spoke eloquently and passionately about her chosen subject. While she was involved on the creative writing workshop she showed a talent for poetry and her teacher managed to persuade her to read in public for the first time at an open mic night that she runs. Since then Kitty has read again several times, developing her confidence and sharing her talent. She passed her GCSE English with flying colours in August 2017, achieving the highest grade possible, a grade 9.
Her story has been told in her first book, Caged Bird, published May 2018. Since it was published she has been in great demand with interviews on Radio 4, Womans Hour, Good Morning TV, BBC Newsnight and many of the broadsheet newspapers.
Her story is one of courage, personal strength, determination and above all hope. She returned to Swarthmore on the 21st June to talk to staff about her life, her book and her hopes for the future. It was an amazing evening and we are all very proud of the part that Swarthmore played in her recovery and progress.
Kitty has a place on a Preparation for Higher Education programme at Leeds University from September 2018 with the view to studying for a degree the following year.