STAFFORDSHIRE’S young people leaving care are set for a rosier Christmas this year after receiving hundreds of presents.
The appeal saw hundreds of gifts donated by County Council Staff, friends and family of staff as well as local stores in the lead-up to Christmas.
The gifts were collected from Staffordshire Place by Sophie Howarth and Becci Foster from the County’s Through Care team, who started the appeal. The duo will now add them to the donations made in the other districts and begin the unenviable task of wrapping and distributing them to young people from across the county.
Care leavers are young people aged 18 to 25, many of whom now live independently having lived with foster families or in children’s homes.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “For most children Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for many of our young people leaving care it can be quite a daunting and lonely time.
“We’re really delighted with the response to our appeal and I’m sure the young people will be delighted with their gifts. For many of them, it could be the only gift they get, so a huge thanks to everyone who donated presents and to Sophie and Becci who will be kept busy wrapping and delivering over the next few days.”
Becci said: “We are very grateful and the young people will be too, the response has far exceeded our expectations. These gifts mean so much to our young people and shows them that they are really valued. We hope that it will make them feel part of our community at a time when some young people can feel isolated and alone.”
Becci and Sophie are part of a network of Personal Advisors in the Through Care team who support these young people as they become independent. The team are also now looking ahead towards opportunities for Care Leavers throughout 2019 such as day trips and are even looking at some completing the mount Snowdon climb and the National 3 Peaks Challenge.