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Supporting Care Leavers - National Care Leavers week

Banner Image: Step Up projects 10 year anniversary

As part of Care Leavers Week on 24 October our Support team and North Somerset Council have developed a work experience programme for three care leavers to get some real hands on experience in the work place. This is particularly important for care leavers who face many barriers to finding work compared to other young people. Mainly because they lack confidence and navigating the world of work without the back up of family support can be a real challenge.

For the past 10 years Alliance Homes and North Somerset Council have been working together on the ‘Step Up’ project to provide flats for care leavers, where they are supported to live independently in their own home.

Currently 5 care leavers are being supported in the flats.

Amy Brownlow is 18 and came to ‘Step Up’ needing general support as well as help with food shopping,  budgeting and paying bills. She was nervous at first, but was confident that with some help she would be able to settle into a routine and gain the confidence to live alone.

Amy was shown how to shop on a budget and manage her bills, she was also introduced to volunteering and completed a volunteering course. All of this developed her confidence so that she felt able to enrol at college and carry on with her education. Amy flourished in the flat where she stayed for 6 months before moving into her own place and freeing up the flat for another care leaver.

Image: Amy Brownlow

The Step Up project has been a finalist in The Children and Young People Now National Awards and continues to be a beacon of best practice on how to support care leavers in their transition from being in care to being independent adults.