Cornish communities to receive £80,000 funding support for care leavers thanks to new philanthropic initiative.

Cornwall is set to receive funding support for care leavers as part of a new national programme managed by UK Community Foundations (UKCF) with local grants distributed by Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF).

The Care Leavers Programme is a new philanthropic initiative with a primary focus of improving the life chances of care leavers through decentralised funding across 17 regions in England. UKCF have awarded £40,000 to Cornwall which CCF which has been able to match fund thanks to the Sedel-Collings Foundation and Cornwall Council, which brings the total amount available for care leavers across Cornwall to £80,000.

The £3.6 million match fund scheme will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

CCF will be distributing funding support through grants that focus on the gaps of support in Cornwall, decentralising the national fund to ensure young care leavers are put first.

Tamas Haydu, Chief Executive at CCF says:

“In Cornwall there are an estimated 200 care leavers for who we will be working with local charities and community groups to shape long-term support to complement the existing initiatives.

Cornwall’s 16 Plus Team, which is as a partnership between Cornwall Council and Carefree Cornwall, means we are starting from a strong position. CCF has a long-lasting relationship with Carefree Cornwall who provide a commissioned service to support care leavers from across Cornwall.

All young people in Cornwall deserve to have opportunities to thrive, be part of a strong community and feel sure of their worth no matter their background. There is a wealth of skills and knowledge in the region that we will capitalise upon by granting funding for projects which will further enhance the lives of young care leavers.”

In England there were 46,000 care leavers between 17 and 21 years old in 2022[1]. Each year, young people leaving the care system immediately meet a range of challenges that their peers might not experience. Deficiencies in transitional and practical support mean that care leavers are often less likely to get the help they need to make a fresh start as a young adult.

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of LAMIT, says:

“We are delighted to be working with both Cornwall Community Foundation and their partner local authority Cornwall Council to deliver extra support to young people within the care system that badly need it. This joint fund of £80,000 for three years will provide that little bit of extra support that is vital for young care leavers.”

“Nationally, our care system is creaking at the seams despite the best endeavours of dedicated professionals such as social workers and probation officers. We need to find innovative approaches for young people who have left care, in which society can wrap its arm around them in the same way that we as parents and grandparents wrap our arms around the young people in our own family.”

Rosemary Macdonald BEM, Chief Executive at UK Community Foundations, says:

“Inequalities for care leavers differ from region to region, and this is true for those living in Cornwall. It is key that we harness the knowledge of local organisations to not just fund fantastic projects for young people leaving the care system, but to nurture those relationships and keep the momentum going to make real change happen.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association, says:

“Councils support thousands of young people who become care leavers every year whether that is finding a home to live in or help into work. Alongside our communities, the LGA is delighted to be able to support this fantastic new initiative which can help to transform care leavers’ lives as they make the transition into adulthood.”

[1] Support for Care Leavers – House of Commons Library, Pg 5, paragraph 1