Care Leavers Kits
Working with St Nicholas Mothers' Union
The St Nicholas Mothers' Union & SUTTONfx together want to create and donate "Starter Kits" to young people leaving the care system in LBS. The Kits would contain essential items for young people moving into small flats or bedsits. Recently, Sutton Council passed a resolution that a person being "Care Experienced" should be a protected characteristic.
The MU progressed the idea by talking to Maria Moon from JigSaw4U, who receives referrals from Sutton Council to support some care leavers as they transition to independent homes.
The Council Care Leaving Team discussed the idea of Starter Kits with the MU on 7th March 2023. They emphasized that the needs of the young people were emotional as much as material and that the young people need to feel that the community continues to care for them. They suggested separate zoned boxes for the living room and bedroom. The contents of the boxes would be based on the young people's needs and could include a small first aid kit, DIY essentials, a power bank, spare USB cables, a handwritten letter, a photo frame with original art, and a "Survival Guide" manual.
The Care Leaving Team currently supports around 29 young people each year moving into their own accommodation. The Kits would be of high quality and something that the young person would be happy to share on social media.
The liaison with the Care Leaving Team is continuing. They are meeting with young adults who have recently left care to create a list of items that they identify as wishing they had had on arrival in their new starter accommodation.
Sutton Council has funded the project with an initial amount of £1000 towards a first-year target of £3000. This is held as restricted funds by SUTTONfx on behalf of the project.
Care Leavers Kits Pitched at Sutton Soup - July 2023
Liz from St Nicholas MU, Rachel and Michael one of the recent Care Leavers pitched for the project at Sutton Soup. Unfortunately, they didn't win but they publicised the project and gained some great friends and allies for the Care Leavers Kits.