The success of young people going on to forge independent lives for themselves will be celebrated as Wolverhampton marks National Care Leavers Week, which starts on Thursday (24 October, 2019).

The City of Wolverhampton Council helps hundreds of young people make the move out of care to independent living every year, and those who are about to make, or have recently made, the move will be taking part in a range of activities to highlight their progress.

The week will also see the formal launch of 2 major initiatives to support care leavers; The House Project and the Grandmentors programme. 

The House Project is designed to help care leavers through one of the most difficult periods in their young lives. The council is working with the National House Project and Reconomy on the project, which will see 10 young people aged 16 and over given an empty Wolverhampton Homes property which they can refurbish and then move into. They will be able to continue living in it for as long as they choose.

Links will also be made with local building companies and training providers to give them the skills they need to make any improvements required to what will become their home, with the first care leavers expected to move in next year.

Meanwhile, the council has teamed up with Volunteering Matters to launch the Grandmentors programme, a new mentoring project to support young care leavers in Wolverhampton. The programme will recruit, train and support volunteer mentors from a diverse range of backgrounds, aged 50 plus, who will use their skills and experience to provide bespoke mentoring for young people leaving care during their transition into adulthood and independence.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Supporting care leavers is a key priority for the council; young people in care have often had a very difficult start to their lives, so it's important that we give them the help they need to make the transition into adulthood.

"Our care leavers are making really good progress, and Care Leavers Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their achievements on a local and national stage as they begin their journey into adulthood.

"We are also delighted to be launching 2 important initiatives during Care Leavers Week. The House Project will enable young care leavers to move into their own home while getting support to develop the practical and emotional skills that they need to live, while the Grandmentors progamme will really support our young people at one of the most challenging times in their lives."

Other activities during Care Leavers Week include a fun day at WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams and a meal out for care leavers and their Young Persons Advisors, as well as attendance at the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum in London and the regional Children in Care Leavers Council in West Bromwich.

National Care Leavers Week seeks to highlight the needs of care leavers, and encourage the agencies responsible for looking after them to work in a coordinated and effective way. 

  • The City of Wolverhampton Council's Local Offer for care leavers aged between 16 and 25 provides information about a wide range of services which could help them prepare for adult life. The Local Offer was developed in partnership with care leavers and includes details of support which they are entitled to by law, as well as additional services that the council has been able to secure with the help of partner organisations. For more information, please visit click Care Leavers Offer.