They started their Happier Futures project in October with 3 key aims…
1.Be the employer of choice for young people who are care experienced. We want to support young people leaving the care system into meaningful long-term employment at the John Lewis Partnership or with other employers.
2. Support children in care to equip them for happier futures through partnerships with the voluntary and charity sectors.
3. Raise awareness of the inequalities faced by those who are care experienced, empowering them to tell their own stories in their own words.
Well done and another positive opportunity for care leavers.
Will be good to hear how the Northamptonshire Waitrose shops get on!
The NCT Leaving Care Team have recently launched a weekly Corby drop in on a Friday from 10-4pm for care leavers. This is a much needed facility in the north of the county for our care leavers. We would like all providers to be using the facility and to encourage care leavers that are within their provision. The drop-in is young person centered. The aim is to encourage young people to take ownership of activities that will be running from the centre.
Care leaver week runs from the 24th October to 28th October. On Friday the 28th October we will be holding a coffee & cake morning for providers from 10-12 and we would like each provider to join us with at least one care leaver also coming along with them all are welcome.
Welcome to our new volunteer, Connie Penn! Who is helping us with mapping existing community assets and services to aid our projects to help children in care and care leavers in Northamptonshire. Connie is a corporate consultant with a particular interest in youth music.
New National Lottery Community Fund Grant to fund new, Cross-sector Children’s Care Northamptonshire project
SON has just received a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All to develop a new project to bring together at least 20 cross-sector county partners to improve outcomes for children in care and care leavers. The project will run from August 2022 to July 2023 and aims to implement a range of new extra-curricular interventions to fill gaps and promote prioritising needs of children in care in all existing community services. The project is building on the partnerships and progress SON has already achieved over the last few years.
The Linder Foundation funding Children’s Home Model of Excellence
Last week our Manager, Jane, met with The Linder Foundation Chair, Johnny Fountain and Trustee, Amanda Smith to update them on project progress.
The Linder Foundation are funding our Children’s Home Model of Execellence project from April 2022 to March 2023. The project is going really well with a co-produced model in place and an action plan starting to create a wrap-around trauma-informed service for an existing county children’s care home in partnership with Northamptonshire Children’s Trust, before hopefully transferring the approach. A huge THANK YOU to The Linder Foundation for their faith and support for us!
The SON trustees recently met Star, a soft and bright cuddle cushion created by coalition partner, The Crysalys Foundation, as part of their ambitions to Tackle Trauma www.tackling-trauma.com
Trustees (from left), David Apparicio MBE JP, Graham Goss FCA, Mayor of Wellingborough Councillor Jon Ekins and Associate Professor Adrian Pryce DL met Star. Five hundred Star cushions were gifted to Northamptonshire Children’s Trust to give out to children in care in the county. Star is making a big positive impact on health and wellbeing for children who have experienced childhood trauma. Children, grown-ups and community workers can hug Star alongside the online self-help resources within the Tackling Trauma website.
Caring Connections project supports 48 county Children in Care and Care Leavers in Northamptonshire
Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund and local Trusts, between April 2021 and March 2022 SON have helped 48 children in care and care leavers in Northamptonshire to improve their wellbeing, education and employment outcomes. Everyone involved improved their health and wellbeing! The project was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All, Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited, The Faraway Children’s Charity and local trusts. April to October 2021 were part of the initial successful pilot project. Within the year we delivered 569 support sessions and 1692 brief digital interventions in partnership with fellow local charity, Service Six. The project had a 100% voluntary retention rate which shows how well the project connects with young people. The project has secured partial funds to continue in 2022-23 and hopefully helping larger numbers of young people. Since October 2020 the project has helped 71 young people with flexible interventions for as long as they need them. We are still fundraising for this year and welcome any donations please.
Current care system houses over 15s but doesn’t always provide care
Stand Out Northamptonshire want to send their support to national campaigners including the charity, Article 39, Together Trust and actress, Samantha Morton, who are highlighting the support needs of 16 and 17 year olds in care.
Care leaver, Terry Galloway, made a pact to try to improve the care system, which is part of the reason why he travelled to Downing Street as part of a delegation of care leavers on the 25th January. They delivered a 10,000+ signature petition which objects to a new law that, because it took the form of secondary legislation, has so far failed to generate the national outcry that it merits. That law makes official in England the practice of forcing children out of care at the age of 16. A small charity, Article 39, is taking the government to court, but the silence from the rest of the children’s sector, wider civil society, the Labour frontbench and the House of Lords is eerie. Do all these adults agree with ministers that 16-year-olds don’t need to be “looked-after children” anymore?
Between 2018 and 2020, while living in this type of un-supervised setting, 22 children aged 16 and 17 died. Forcing children to manage life on their own leads to other forms of harm too. Last year, the Together Trust found that 3,253 16- and 17-year-olds were not in education, employment or training while living in non-care settings. More recently, Ofsted published research showing that more than a third of care leavers don’t know where to turn in an emergency, and that money worries make many feel unsafe. National research suggests 1 third of all care leavers become homeless and 70% of Northamptonshire’s youth criminal justice system are children in care and care leavers. It’s clear that inadequate care or absence of care contributes towards the poor outcomes that care leavers experience. This change to the law will undoubtedly cause further lasting damage to the lives of vulnerable 16- and 17-year-olds in care.
Last year The Faraway Children’s Charity supported our Coalition partner, the national charity, The Crysalys Foundation, with a grant to pilot a giveaway of 1000 Star Cuddle Cushions in Northamptonshire to help children aged 3 to 10 years, and possibly older disabled or learning disabled young people, with their trauma recovery. Having said all this adults are cuddling them! Northamptonshire Community Fund funded another 500 cushions via The Lord Lieutenants’ Fund. 1500 Stars have been made and delivered into Northampton and we’re eager to support The Crysalys Foundation and FCC with distribution across the county.
The cushions are 13” by 13” size; very soft plushie fabric; and eco - being made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, recycled filling with zero packaging.
They’re going fast with 350 already allocated. If you’re interested please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love our partner organisations to get access to these for your beneficiaries. Initially, I am looking at booking in pick-ups via arrangement only (from Goodwill Solutions, Moulton Park, Northampton) or drop off (by arrangement only) on the 17th Feb from 11am – there will be other dates ahead assuming there’s some left. If you can’t make this date but want me to allocate some to your organisation let me know.
On the website, Star guides children (and parents/carers) through the website’s many resources. We hope that having a Star cushion to cuddle when they’re feeling scared, sad or struggling to sleep will help children and young people with their trauma recovery process. I have attached pictures of the cushions to give you an idea of what they look like. We’re aiming to increase trauma understanding and help 1500 local children by improving their health and wellbeing.
Here's a bit more info about Tackling Trauma…
Trauma is a brain injury that has significant and lasting negative impacts. The faster trauma is recognised and resolved, the more effective outcomes are. Tackling Trauma is the UK’s only free one-stop 24/7 365 website increasing understanding and recovery from trauma by providing free multi-media trauma recovery focused information, resources, self-help, help directory and coming soon - trauma-informed training webinars. Launched in April 2021, with 5000+ visits already, the platform covers all age groups, parents/carers, practitioners and professionals.
If you want more info please get in touch.
If you want to pass this email onto any other county contacts / organisations please feel free.
The charity’s Caring Connections project helped 58 children in care and care leavers achieve improved mental health, education and employment outcomes and reduced criminal justice involvement between November 2020 and October 2021. The pilot year of the project has been a great success with 100% voluntary beneficiary retention rate. Thanks to funding grants including Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited and The National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All the project has provided support and mentoring for as long as beneficiaries needed. We’re really pleased to say that due to donations from The Faraway Children’s Charity the project is continuing into 2022 and we’re seeking more funds to keep the project rolling for at least the next 3 years and increase capacity to help more children! We’ve put together an infographic to highlight the project outcomes and impacts so far.
New County Charity Children’s Home Working Group Convened
In the last 6 months SON Development Manager, Jane Deamer, has been approaching colleagues to explore starting a voluntary working group towards developing a sustainable charitable children’s home model of excellence in Northamptonshire.
Today, the new children’s commissioner, Dame Rachel De Souza, has laid out some bold ambitions for children, especially children in care https://news.sky.com/story/improving-lives-of-children-in-care-is-absolute-top-priority-says-new-commissioner-12247320 so we’ll be contacting Rachel and her assistant, Claire, to ask for their support and to demonstrate our place based ambitions for our community of hundreds of traumatised and disadvantaged children and young people in care and care leavers.
In the last decade the number of children in care in the UK has increased by 20% and is still rising
In Northamptonshire in Feb 2021 there were 1142 children in care and 498 care leavers aged 18 to 25 years (in 2013 there were <800)
Comparatively Northamptonshire has circa 40% more children in care than relatively similar size population neighbouring counties such as Leicestershire where there’s less than 700
Over 70% of UK care homes are run for profit
In terms of children in care outcomes – please see the attached document (a work in progress) which provides a summary of low and unacceptable county outcomes including being 3 times more likely to have had contact with mental health services, 7 times more likely to have had a permanent exclusion and 7 times more likely to have 5 or more previous convictions than their peers
Let’s find them together. This is not a quick fix so it will take time, energy and heart.
We’re aiming high and for at least a co-produced, strengths-based, trauma-informed and impactful model of excellence.
We would like to try and bring as many people together as possible via zoom to start to explore this potential opportunity. The remit of the first meeting is to introduce the working group, collectively scope the many essential ingredients needed to create our fantastic new home and confirm next steps. We hope to meet in the second half of April.
We’re really please to confirm that our Caring Connections project is already supporting 18 looked after children and care leavers in Northamptonshire helping to improve their mental health, education and employment outcomes. If you would like free support please get in touch at email@example.com
We’ve also received some more funding towards continuing the Caring Connections project beyond March 2021!
Annual General Meeting: we are giving notice that we are holding our annual general meeting on Tuesday the 1st December 2020 at 7pm to 8pm via zoom. If you would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide a zoom link for the meeting. The meeting will review our activities for the period April 2019 to March 2020 including a finance report. We will also share our Impact Report for the year and future plans for 2020 and beyond.
Stand Out Northamptonshire to partner with Service Six to deliver Caring Connections project
Stand Out Northamptonshire are pleased to announce a new partnership with regional charity, Service Six. In late September, Stand Out Northamptonshire was awarded £9,720 funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund for a new project, Caring Connections. The project will enable at least 50 Northamptonshire looked after children and care leavers impacted by covid19 to access free bespoke: supported access to a range of mental health resources and services; extra curricula education opportunities/resources; and access to training, mentoring and employment support. We’ll be particularly targeting beneficiaries who may have underlying health conditions, long-term or chronic illnesses, are BAME, diabetic, overweight/obese or have other emerging implications identified by on-going virus research. Beneficiaries will achieve: increased health and wellbeing; improved education participation and attainment; increased employability; and connectivity.
To get the Caring Connections project services started as quickly as possible we’re partnering with Service Six who have a qualified and experienced staff team ready to support our project work. The partnership will enable us to reach and deliver to beneficiaries straight away therefore making the most of the project funds, timetable and maximising positive outcomes and impacts. Services will commence from Monday the 9th November until at least the end of March 2021.
If you’re a looked after child or care leaver in Northamptonshire, your mental health, education or employment has been affected by COVID-19 and you would like support then get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll email you back to see how Caring Connections can help.
Along with thousands of others in the UK we celebrated National Care Leavers’ Week during the week 26th October to the 1st November. As part of our actions we’re preparing to launch our new Caring Connections project. Other national actions include the charity, Become, campaigning to raise awareness of the, ‘care cliff,’ experienced by 18 year olds forced to leave their placements.
We’re delighted to announce we have been awarded £9,720 funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. Thanks to the Government for making this possible. Our new project Caring Connections will enable at least 50 looked after children and care leavers impacted by covid19 to access free bespoke: supported access to a range of mental health resources and services; extra curricula education opportunities/resources; and access to training, mentoring and employment support. We’ll be particularly targeting beneficiaries who may have underlying health conditions, long-term or chronic illnesses, are BAME, diabetic, overweight/obese or have other emerging implications identified by on-going virus research. Beneficiaries will achieve: increased health and wellbeing; improved education participation and attainment; increased employability; and connectivity. The project will start in October and we’ll be announcing further information in the next few weeks!
We’re looking for new Board Directors / Trustees with expertise and experience in any of these areas please: adolescent mental health, education, employment and criminal justice system. These are the four main areas in which looked after children and care leavers are disproportionately disadvantaged and or over represented. If you are interested in: supporting a critical local charity to improve children’s lives; learning new skills and developing existing abilities; and undertaking personal and career development, then please get in touch for an initial informal discussion. More information about becoming a Trustee / Director is available at:
With a recession announced we’re even more concerned that care leavers, who already struggle to find work, will be even more marginalised from the youth job market. This represents even greater evidence for our new, Caring Connections, project with creative approaches and solutions with cross sector partners.
Stand Out Northamptonshire forms a coalition with national charity, The Crysalys Foundation, http://crysalys.org/ We’re joining forces to work on research and projects to help reduce, prevent, mitigate and treat the impacts of childhood trauma for looked after children and care leavers.
We’ve got a new Deputy Chair, Joe Plumb, our existing trustee and director who has supported the establishment of the charity and is a member of county care forums. Joe brings his lived experience as a looked after child in the county and a young care leaver. Joe’s passionate about sharing his insights and improving outcomes for his peers.
Jane Deamer has been approved as the charity’s Development Manager for 2020-21 to be funded via an NCC support package for the year. Jane has over thirty years’ success in innovating and funding the third sector, has already supported the organisation’s initial vision and strategy in 2017 and helped to recruit the previous Charity Manager in 2018. Jane will be focusing on refreshing the charity’s strategy, resources, activities. partnerships and ensuring sustainability.