Blackpool organisations show their support for care leavers
Posted on Friday 10th June 2022
Blackpool businesses, public and voluntary organisations have come together to offer support to care leavers
Blackpool Council has recently launched its Care Leavers Covenant (CLC) to the local community. The launch took place in the Winter Gardens and more than 20 different organisations attended to find out more information.
The covenant is a promise made by the private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16 to 25 to help them to live independently. It is part of the government’s strategy to support people leaving care to become independent.
It allows public, private and voluntary sector organisations to pledge support, including:
- Work experience
- Free or discounted goods and services
All support given through CLC will help care leavers to make a transition to independence. The support Blackpool Council offers our care leavers includes:
- 1:1 support from our team of personal advisers
- Financial support including when our young people setup their first home or choose to study at University
- ‘Passport to Our Leisure’ to support our young people to access our leisure facilities
- Ring-fenced employment opportunities with the council
- Council Tax discounts to support our young people to maximize their finances
The launch event was hosted by young people who have experienced care, allowing them to talk directly with local businesses and organisations about what additional support they and their peers need.
They told those in attendance how they could offer additional resources and opportunities to support their transition to adulthood across the five desired outcomes of the covenant:
- Independently living – help care leavers to be better prepared to live independently
- Employment, education and training – support care leavers to have better access to opportunities
- Safety and security – support care leavers to feel safe, secure and stable in their living situation
- Health – allow care leavers to have improved access to health and emotional support
- Finance – support care leavers to become financially capable and independent
A young care leaver called Louise, said of the scheme,
“What we want you to see is that because of these challenges we have lots of skills we can bring to your organisations. We are resilient, brave, we keep going when things get tough and many of us are driven to work really hard so we can go on to support ourselves in the future.”
Another young care leaver, talked about his experience of being provided an opportunity via the NHS and how this has increased his knowledge, confidence and aspirations for the future. He was able to articulate how this opportunity has led to paid employment and is now a valued member of a team at Blackpool Victoria Teaching Hospital, keen to complete a nursing degree. He said,
“If it wasn’t for this opportunity I never would have considered being a nurse. I didn’t think I had the capability to do something like that. I thought you would need loads of qualifications and it would be really hard.
“I now believe that this is an achievable goal and I hope to go on and study a degree in nursing next year and know I am more than capable of completing my nursing degree and becoming a great nurse.
“I look forward to going to work, I get excited about who I am going to help and hopefully make their day a little bit better. I am also excited about my future and I feel confident that it’s going to be ok.”
Cllr Jim Hobson, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care and Schools said:
“I am so grateful to everyone who attended for giving up their time to listen to the young people and hear how they could help them.
“All those in attendance were keen to work with the young people and the Leaving Care Team to explore what they could do to support. Some fabulous offers were even made on the day.
“We are confident that this will expand the range of opportunities for our young people ensuring that they are able to fulfill their potential and become valued members of their communities.”
To find out how you could help care leavers please contact Info@mycovenant.org.uk
Posted on Friday 10th June 2022