Kent County Council (KCC) employees, in partnership with the Young Lives Foundation, have raised approximately £17,000 to provide Kent Care Leavers with a gift this Christmas.
The Corporate Parenting Christmas Appeal 2020 was launched within KCC on 5th November with the aim of raising £10,000 to fund a £5 gift for each of the council’s 1,900 young people who are Care Leavers.
Staff across all KCC departments, elected members and partnership agencies all have a corporate parenting responsibility to the children and young people in the care of the council. Our children in care are our responsibility until the age of 18 years, when they become ‘care leavers’ and KCC continues to have care leaving responsibilities until young people reach the age of 25.
For many young people, this will be their first Christmas on their own, living independently in different types of single person or shared accommodation and not with a foster family or family members of their own.
This, coupled with this year’s COVID-19 challenges, has made it painfully difficult for many of these young people. Some have felt extremely isolated and lonely. In the past, this group of vulnerable young people have found themselves overlooked at Christmas due to their age. Yet they are often the most in need. So KCC teamed up with the Young Lives Foundation to raise enough money to give each young person a gift to help reassure them that they are not alone.
Employees donated money from lottery wins, cash collected for Christmas parties and meals that can no longer take place due to Tier 3 restrictions, raffles and team quizzes. Along with support provided by trustees, foundations and companies via the Young Lives Foundation, the target was exceeded with total donations of around £17,000.
Thanks to this generosity, Kent’s young people will all receive a mini Christmas hamper containing a selection of treats and other goodies and a card from KCC, their Corporate Parents.
KCC and Young Lives Foundation staff are busy purchasing, boxing and delivering hampers across Kent now – watch the video here https://youtu.be/8MA0ouSq9ds
Sue Chandler, Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services said:
“Moving into independent living can be a daunting prospect for some of our Care Leavers, particularly at Christmas with the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions this year.
“That is why it is so important that we, as corporate parents, are there to support them every step of the way and make sure they know that they are not alone. I am delighted that we, in partnership with the Young Lives Foundation have raised enough money to send all our Care Leavers a gift and some Christmas cheer this year.
“I would like to thank all of the staff at KCC and everyone at the Young Lives Foundation for their generosity and hard work in making this happen.”
Stephen Gray, CEO of Young Lives Foundation said: “We have been blown away by the support that the joint campaign with KCC has generated and feel both humbled and proud that we have been able to raise enough funds to buy, process, pack and deliver a gift for every care leaver.
“It has been such a challenging year for everyone, and we know many of these young people have felt isolated. I am delighted, then, that they will know enough people have thought about them this Christmas to donate and/or volunteer their time to provide these gifts. Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign.”
Notes to Editors:
Young Lives Foundation
The Young Lives Foundation (YLF) is an award-winning children’s charity in the South East of England with expertise in Advocacy, Mentoring, Befriending and Activity Programmes.