This is home

Who cares for care leavers at Christmas?   Who is in that sleeping bag you just stepped over to carry on Christmas shopping? Chances are it’s a care leaver. The stark reality of ‘looked after’ children in this country is that 10,000 of them leave care every year, and one in four is homeless by […]

Who cares for care leavers at Christmas?

 

Who is in that sleeping bag you just stepped over to carry on Christmas shopping? Chances are it’s a care leaver. The stark reality of ‘looked after’ children in this country is that 10,000 of them leave care every year, and one in four is homeless by their 18th birthday*1. Rough sleepers are seventeen times more likely to be attacked than you are, with a quarter of women becoming victims of sexual assault*2. And the endgame? Before Covid’s ‘everyone in’ approach, Oxford was the second worst place in England for homeless deaths. No one deserves that.

 

No wonder the young adults living in our supported accommodation name safety as their top priority. Oxfordshire Youth and Response offer young care leavers a home, not just housing. Something that’s needed more at this time of year than any other – imagine what it feels like hearing everyone around you talking about going ‘home for Christmas’ when you have no family to go to and no warm, loving home to spend the holidays in.

 

We work hard to ensure that everyone feels cared for and valued on Christmas Day. However, disadvantage isn’t just for Christmas. It can last a lifetime. For this reason, we’re raising money for a ‘Dream Big Fund’ to pay for things we all take for granted – emotional support, help applying for work and training, clothing for job interviews – so that our 18-25 year olds can have a realistic shot at a decent life.

 

Jodie Lloyd-Jones, CEO of Oxfordshire Youth and John McLaughlin, CEO of Response, keep care leavers out of homelessness by providing safe, youth work-led housing. Becoming destitute in Oxfordshire is, as John says, ‘A preventable tragedy’, and they want to talk about how we can all play a part in offering our young adults a brighter future, view them here. 

 

Young people like Holly, Hayden, Vincent and Jacob who feature in our Christmas campaign view video here, inspire us to do the best we can to support young people living in our young people’s supported accommodation. Can you also do your best to help the young people in Oxfordshire?

Editor notes:

A ‘care leaver’ – as defined by The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 – is someone who has been in the care of the local authority for a period of 13 weeks or more before their 16th birthday.

*1 Guardian article evidencing the ‘one in four’ statistic

*2 Street homlessness and violence statistics

To become a treasured Monthly Donor to the Dream Big Fund, follow this link. 

 

What is the Dream Big Fund?

Our Dream Big Fund is going wherever our young people need to take it, to give them the best shot at having a full, happy life.

The young adults living in our supported accommodation have already suffered from the traumatic events leading up to them being taken into care. Oxfordshire Youth offers them a home, not just housing, and home should be a springboard onto a successful, independent life.

The Dream Big Fund is combating the kind of financial disadvantage that stunts lives. No money for a train ticket? No interview, no job. That’s where your kind donation comes in – supporting us to support our wonderful young people to grow into the successful, sorted adults we know they want to be.

What is Young People’s Supported Accommodation (YPSA)? 

Launched in October 2020, YPSA is a pioneering model with a grassroots youth-work approach at its heart. Oxfordshire Youth and Response ensure that: young people receive the best possible opportunities available, staff receive the highest quality training to be the best possible coaches they can be and young people are living in quality, safe and secure homes.

Collaborating with leading experts in the field of youth engagement – ASPIRE, SOFEA and BYHP – the new YPSA model has an aspirational vision. We want to see 18-25 year olds transform their prospects through engaging with life-changing opportunities in education, employment and training.

Alongside these opportunities, residents will be equipped with new tools and techniques to help them manage their mental health, develop financial empowerment, and learn how to nurture, repair and sustain healthy relationships with the people that matter to them.

Our young people are the change makers of the future, defined by their resilience, tenacity and tremendous potential.

1st Floor, Bury Knowle Coach House, North Place OX3 9HY oxfordshireyouth.org | info@oxfordshireyouth.org | 01865 767899 

Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) 1151723

B4 is supported by