Reconomy has reaffirmed its commitment to a pioneering programme that is providing support and accommodation for young care leavers.

The Wolverhampton House Project is a partnership between The City of Wolverhampton Council, The National House Project and Reconomy, the UK’s leading provider of outsourced waste management and resource-led services. 

As commercial partner for the project, Reconomy has confirmed it will fully fund five apprenticeship placements in 2021 which will be exclusively available to Wolverhampton House Project care leavers. Apprentices will be placed either directly with Reconomy, its network of local suppliers or with the House Project charity. 

There are currently 130 care leavers living independently within the City of Wolverhampton. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been particularly difficult for those leaving care, with many struggling to access essential support networks. To bring a little festive cheer, Reconomy are providing all 130 young people with a small Christmas gift: a sustainable (plastic-free) bathroom gift set. These are being donated to the Council next week for distribution in time for Christmas. 

In 2020, the launch of the Wolverhampton House Project saw an initial 10 young people, aged 16 and over, given access to council-owned properties within the City which they then refurbished and moved into. The project has been so well received that it is now looking to identify the next group of care leavers that will benefit from the scheme. 

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “2020 has been a tough year for everyone, including our young people who find themselves leaving care at a time of such great uncertainty, and I know this kind gesture by the team at Reconomy will be greatly appreciated by the young people.”

Reconomy Chief Executive Paul Cox added: “Through our pioneering Reconomy Social Value Programme (RSVP), we are committed to ensuring that care leavers are given the practical and emotional support they need to live full, independent lives. 

“As someone who grew up in Wolverhampton, I’m delighted that we are helping care leavers in my hometown and hope that providing them all with a small Christmas gift will create an extra smile at this time of year. 

“Young people seeking employment opportunities are already facing significant challenges, which have been further compounded by the pandemic. By offering five care leavers the opportunity to become apprentices we hope to give them an invaluable head start on the career ladder.”