Kent County Council’s Corporate Parenting Team and The Young Lives Foundation (YLF) are hoping to raise £20,000 this year to provide each of Kent’s 2,000 care leavers with a £10 gift for Christmas.
For many young care leavers aged 18-25 years, it’s their first Christmas on their own as they move on to live independently and not with a foster family or family of their own. This can be an extremely lonely and isolating time for them.
Care leaver Sophia Alexandra Hall said: “I’ve done Christmas crying on my own in a room because I haven’t seen anyone else. Meanwhile, you see all your mates on Instagram with their families, wearing Christmas jumpers etc…and you end up thinking – I just want that. I want their family.”
Anna, also a care leaver, added: “This charity helped me so much when I was growing up in care, they do such a fantastic job and really care for young people in care. I know my donation will help bring a smile this Christmas.”
Sue Chandler, Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, said: “All young people in our care deserve to have a happy and fulfilling Christmas. For some or our care leavers, moving into independent living can be a daunting prospect, particularly at Christmas and with the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19.
“That is why it is so important that we are all there to support them in any way we can and make sure they know that they are not alone. It would be wonderful to bring them all a gift and some Christmas joy to end this year with some festive cheer, and so we would be hugely grateful for any support you can offer.
“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who donates to this wonderful campaign for their generosity. My thanks also go to all the staff and members at KCC and everyone at the Young Lives Foundation for their hard work in making this happen.”
To find out more and make a donation visit the Young Lives Foundation website: https://ylf.org.uk/christmas/