The City of Wolverhampton Council celebrated the achievements of its young people leaving, or about to leave, care through a series of events held to mark Care Leavers Week.

Young people and their Young Person’s Advisors took part in a dozen activities last week, including a wellbeing and beauty evening where they were able to enjoy facial treatments, henna mehndi and Lush gift sets provided by their Grand Mentors.

There was also a games night and food around the world evening, the care leavers football team finished as runners-up in the Care Leavers Week Cup held in Walsall, and care leavers with young children were able to enjoy a visit to an exotic zoo and soft play centre.

An Education Employment and Training Fair at the Civic Centre saw more than 20 education, employment and training partners come together to showcase a variety of opportunities to care leavers, and the council's Housing Support Team, Wolverhampton Homes and West Midlands Fire Service hosted a Taskmaster themed day, giving care leavers the chance to test their knowledge on home safety and their independence skills.

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Care Leavers Week is an important and enjoyable week for young people who either have, or are, making the transition from being in care to starting their journey towards independent living, and we were delighted to be able to celebrate their achievements with them."

Meanwhile, Care Leavers Week also saw cause for celebration for the council's Reach Leaving Care Team and Young Person's Advisor Claire Salisbury, who were recognised for their outstanding work by the National Leaving Care Bench Marking Forum.

The Forum judged the Reach Leaving Care Team to be its Personal Advisor Team of the Year for 2022, while Claire was named runner-up in the Young Person's Advisor of the Year category for her outstanding work with young people, and her work as custody champion for young people in prison.

Councillor Momenabadi added: "The National Leaving Care Bench Marking Forum includes membership from over 100 local councils around the country, and its annual awards ceremony celebrates the impact of care leaver teams and young person's advisors from across England. 

"This recognition for our Reach Leaving Care Team and for Claire Salisbury is testament to the fantastic work they do with care leavers all year round – and it's great that their dedication and determination has been nationally recognised."