We have a lot of experience of working with young people who are in care or who have left care (we use the term “care experience”). We believe that we can provide them with the skills, confidence and experiences that can empower and support them to find lasting solutions to many of the problems they face. We work with young people from 15 to 25 years old, and offer a holistic approach to supporting them, whether that’s with their mental health, housing issues, employment troubles, social isolation or being at risk of offending. Care leavers are said to be more likely to experience limited life chances (BBC 2017), and we want to shift that situation by working with them to find opportunities to make positive changes in their lives. All our services are free.
We work with groups and individuals and have strong links to business which mean we are very good at helping young people develop employability skills and find work, as well as offer a wide range of practical support to care experienced young people.
What can we offer a young person?
We run and support a wide range of groups where you can meet up with other care experienced young people, make friends, develop your skills and confidence and have fun. Our Chill and Chat session runs every Wednesday, 5-7pm, here at Leicestershire Cares, and is a safe place to come and hang out, make new friends, play cards, watch a film chill out or if you want to get a bit more political, we also run social action projects where you can get your voice heard. Chill and Chat is for 18 to 25 years-olds.
We can help young people with getting a job or finding training.
Through our strong links with local business we can help you develop your “employability skills”. This could include support and advice on CV’s and job interviews, visiting workplaces, getting work experience and being coached and mentored by local business people. We also have strong links with a wide range of training and education providers. We can help you decide what training and courses might be best for you and help you apply. Our Flying Fish project works by supporting you into employment and training, if you are interested in finding out more get in touch, or submit a referral form.
We also run our Get Stuff Done session, every Wednesday from 12-3.30pm, where you can come in and ‘get stuff done’. It might be working on your CV or a job application, you might need assistance with filling out a form, or need practical advice, we are here to listen and help.
Having your voice heard
We strongly believe that young people’s voices and lived experience should shape the support they are offered. We help young people develop the skills and confidence they need to inform both our work and the work of all agencies who impact on their life. We see young people as the “solution” not the “problem”, and are committed to helping them be seen and heard. If you want to have your voice heard about an issue affecting the care experienced community, get in touch. We use a number of techniques to get you voice heard by the right people. We could work with you to make a video, a podcast, articulate your point through photography, art, drama, or work with you to support your voice to be heard politically. If you are interested join our VOICES project.
We also have our Taking Back Our Heritage project which investigates care experienced young people’s memory, history and narrative. Young people discover, create and promote positive cultural histories and artefacts about their care experienced life, while developing a range of creative and media skills. If you have a young person you think would benefit from reflecting and expressing their care experience in a creative way, please get in touch.
We are always looking for more care experienced young people to work with. We offer a warm, safe and inclusive environment, for young people to develop learn and leap into independence. We would be happy to speak to you about how we can work with your young people to support them into employment or training, help them reduce their social isolation, or be another responsible adult in their lives. We also run a number of workshops over the year that include mental health and wellbeing, healthy relationships and more. If you have a young person you’d like to refer, fill out this form and email it to Sonal Morjaria at Sonal@leicestershirecares.co.uk.
Social Workers and Personal Assistants
We have strong links with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s youth services, as well as the Virtual Schools. We understand the pressures you are under, and we are here to help, being another free service that can support young people into employment, education, help with reducing social exclusion, and give them a voice to speak out about the issues affecting them. If you have a young person you would like to refer, please get in touch or fill out this referral form. We also run a number of workshops over the year that include mental health and wellbeing, healthy relationships and more.
Are you a business that wants to support care experienced young people?
Too many care leavers do not achieve the same outcomes as their peers, with 40 per cent of care leavers aged 19 to 21 not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 13 per cent for this age group overall. As a business you could help change that. There are many ways to work with us to support care experienced young people, and it could come under your corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Promise to Care
Sign up to our business pledge the Promise to Care and join other companies and business in the local region supporting care experienced young people. It could be offering work placements, mentoring, industry showcase events, interviewing practice, discounted offers, or run a session of a life, business or practical skill.
If you are interested in offering work experience, please Jacob Brown at Jacob@leicestershirecares.co.uk. We will arrange a meeting to discuss how you can work with us to support unemployed people in the city and/or county.
Employ a Care Leaver
There are a number of benefits for employing a care experienced person. It can makes good business sense, as it makes good use of the Apprenticeship Levy, you could receive financial support from the government, it improves support for other employees, helps to create a diverse workforce and it can make a huge difference to young people’s lives. You can find out more about the benefits of employing a care leaver here.
Become a Leicestershire Cares member
As a business you can support our work by becoming a member of Leicestershire Cares. Membership enables your staff to participate in a wide range of activities and also provides you with opportunities to network with other members. We also have an annual awards ceremony and recognise the contribution of companies and individuals. Find out more about becoming a business member.