Kent care leavers embarked on a 229-mile virtual ‘Tour De Kent’ to raise money for the Young Lives Foundation.
Members of Kent’s Young Adult Council and Virtual School Kent’s Participation Team took over County Hall with a cake sale and gym where they walked, cycled, rowed as they plotted their progress on a winding tour through all twelve districts.
The event marks the start of Care Leavers Week (October 28 – Nov 3), in which Kent County Council (KCC) highlights the needs of care leavers and renews its commitment to give children in care turning 18 the best possible start in life.
The council supports more than 1600 care leavers with a range of services up to the age of 25, including help from specially trained social workers and advisors and a £2,000 setting up home allowance.
KCC is also moving forward with plans to act as a guarantor for young people moving into rented accommodation.
Jo Carpenter, Participation and Engagement Manager at Virtual School Kent, said: “I am very proud of everything the young people achieved and I am glad we were able to raise money for the Young Lives foundation as the funds will be used to help develop mentoring services for Kent care leavers.
“The Young Lives Foundation is a fantastic charity who provide support to children in care and care leavers. I am grateful to everyone who came along to support us.”
Charlotte Creasy, a member of the Young Adult Council said: “This is a great way to get involved and give back, it was a great day and a fun way to fundraise.”
Hearing the voice of Kent children and young people is important and to mark Care Leavers’ Week KCC will be sending out a survey to all of its care leavers seeking their views on what it’s like to be a care leaver in Kent.
Caroline Smith, Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting, said: “As corporate parents, it is important we can give our young people the support they need and I am proud of the work our participation team, social workers and personal advisors do to support our young people as they move into the suitable homes, education, jobs and independence.”
KCC has created a Care Leavers Local Offer which explains its pledge to our Care Leavers and sets out its commitments to ensure that care leavers have the best possible chances in life.
For more information on the Local Offer., KCC visit Kent Cares Town.
For further information contact David Gazet at Kent County Council Communications Office on 03000 422589 or email David.Gazet@kent.gov.uk
*Virtual School Kent acts as a local authority champion to promote the progress and educational attainment of children and young people who are or who have been in care so that they achieve educational outcomes comparable to their peers. Ensuring that they receive a high quality education is the foundation for improving their lives.