26 Oct CARE LEAVERS TO BENEFIT FROM TOWN FOUNDATION PROJECT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PREMIER LEAGUE, PFA & KIRKLEES COUNCIL
The Huddersfield Town Foundation has successfully secured £205,000 in funding to deliver a project that will support young people in Kirklees transition from being in the care system to independent living.
The Premier League Charitable Fund and Professional Footballers Association have jointly awarded £155,000, with a further £49,000 being contributed by Kirklees Council.
The project aims to help care leavers transitioning into independent living and become ‘work ready’, developing life skills while supporting them with volunteering opportunities and engaging in physical activity.
It also seeks to provide work placement opportunities to those that have previously been in the care system and progressed on to university.
By working with Kirklees Council, the Town Foundation recognises that nationally, Children in Care (CIC) and Care Leavers (CL) face a disproportionate number of challenges in their life.
This is also true for Kirklees, where CIC are three times more likely to find themselves convicted of a crime than other youngsters. In addition, statistics show nearly four in 10 CIC in Kirklees have possible emotional and behavioural problems.
Kirklees Council and the Town Foundation will deliver a range of activities based at their drop in centres Number 11 (Huddersfield) and Number 12 (Dewsbury).
Three times a year the Town Foundation will run a 12-week employability and life skills course, covering topics like Money Management, Healthy Eating and CV writing.
All CIC and CL’s will be encouraged and supported to take part in physical activity and volunteering.
We will work alongside Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) to offer access to a variety of classes and exercise options with the use of their gym passes, in addition to volunteering opportunities across the Foundation and on matchdays supporting the work in our community.
Another element of the course is to help provide the CIC and CL’s with the chance to experience work placements with established local businesses.
The Town Foundation will work with Huddersfield Town’s business partners to facilitate this, as well as providing breakfast training sessions for employers so that they are fully equipped to understand the young people’s needs.
Furthermore, the CIC and CL’s will also have access to work placements with national businesses, Government departments etc, with the Town Foundation signing up to the Care Leavers Covenant.
This programme aims to provide a range of positive experiences that will raise aspirations and enhance resilience, thereby complementing the work done by Kirklees Council.
Upon completion of the programme, participants will be invited to attend a celebration evening to reflect on their achievements.
Maureen Quinn, who has been appointed as head of the Children in Care project for the Town Foundation, said of the news:
“I am proud to have this opportunity to work alongside Kirklees Council to support these young care leavers as they make the transition to independent living and enter the next important phase on their journey. The Town Foundation is committed to ensuring that these young people have the opportunity to develop their skills further and receive a positive and rewarding experience. “
Ahead of the programme’s launch Nick Perchard, Head of Community at the Premier League, commented:
“We know the challenges facing young people leaving care, and with difficult times ahead for everyone this project has never been more important. By working together Huddersfield Town Foundation and Kirklees Council are leading the way and we hope that Premier League funding will enable businesses from across the area to join together and create opportunities for these young people to realise their potential.”
John Hudson, PFA Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, added:
“On behalf of the PFA, I am proud of the outstanding contributions made by the Huddersfield Town Foundation in partnership with Kirklees Council and the Business Community to effect positive change to the lives of young people by helping them to transition through the challenges that they will face in the future. I’m sure the dedication of all involved will ensure the initiative will be a great success.”
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Children, said:
“Supporting children and young people is hugely important for the council. We’re working incredibly hard to give children in care and care leavers the best possible start in life, as well as the skills to fulfil their potential.
“Our partnership with the Huddersfield Town Foundation is another exciting step forward. The opportunities we provide will help young people to thrive and to move successfully on to the next stage of their lives.
“Living more independently can be daunting for some care leavers, so we want them to have the skills, experience and confidence which really do make a difference. I would like to thank all the organisations, including local businesses, who have made this project happen – it will be vital in changing and improving young lives.”
If you would like any more information on the project, please contact Maureen Quinn on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07741 671 066 in the first instance.