New support announced for care leavers at Carlisle College

New support announced for care leavers at Carlisle College

Pilot Scheme

CARE LEAVERS at Carlisle College will benefit from a new first-of-its-kind partnership between the Care Leaver Covenant and training and colleges group NCG.

As part of this pilot scheme, a Progression Coordinator will be based at the college, working with student services staff and helping them to identify, match and support care experienced students into Covenant employment and leisure opportunities.

This new partnership is aimed to support NCG to help care experienced students to take up the opportunities that are available to them by responding to the specific challenges they face, such as having no family support and entering education with no stable housing or income.

There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK and approximately 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers. The Care Leaver Covenant is funded by the Department for Education and tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently.

The Covenant works with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors to create tangible opportunities for care leavers, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.

As well as NCG, other signatories to the Care Leaver Covenant who have pledged to provide support for care leavers include Amazon, Barclays, Metro Bank, Superdry and e.on, with over 160 published offers on the Covenant’s bespoke app and website

This partnership demonstrates that NCG is willing to go the extra mile to support care leavers, having been early signatories and supporters of the Covenant.

Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant.

Do you relate to this?

If you, or someone you know, has been affected any of the issues covered in this article, and you feel you may benefit from our free impartial advise, do please contact us.

Young people in care in the UK

leave care each year, becoming care leavers.

%

of care leavers aged 19-21 are NEET (approx).

%

of care leavers begin university degrees (approx).

%

of the male and female prison population are care experienced (approx).

%

of the homeless population are care experienced (approx).

“As the first collaboration like this between a FE provider and the Covenant, we are excited to see how we can work together to benefit the care leavers at Carlisle College and support them to find the employment options through our network of signatories. These opportunities will enable them to achieve financial stability and be better prepared and supported to live independently.

Our aim is to unlock the potential of every student that begins their journey with us, whatever their background, and it’s our duty to ensure that we teach them the skills so that they can enter employment after completing their studies.

Students can face disadvantages when leaving care, so having a Progression Coordinator within our colleges means that we can have that additional focus on their needs and identify opportunities for them to get the training, jobs and experiences that can help them to thrive.”

Steven Salkeld, Interim Principal, Carlisle College (pictured above)

organisations signed up to the Covenant, including Trowers & Hamlins, Barclays, Reed, Superdry, Amazon, ENGIE, PGL and Compass Group.

plus opportunities created for care leavers.

councils with Children Services departments to support the Covenant.

LifeSkills

LifeSkills

Covenant Stories

Supporting care leavers to be financially independent.

Signatory: LifeSkills created with Barclays
Location: Nationwide

What is ‘LifeSkills created with Barclays’?

LifeSkills created with Barclays is a free employability programme which gives people the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in work. LifeSkills has supported over 10 million people since launching in 2013.

LifeSkills were an early signatory of the Covenant in 2018 and have committed to supporting care leavers through specially tailored educational materials, which are invaluable for building financial competence and independence.

What’s the story?

LifeSkills created a specific suite of lesson plans with topics ranging from paying bills, to budgeting, saving, being fraud aware and more, which are marked as ‘care leaver content’, and easily searchable on the LifeSkills website. There are also interactive tools, films and activities within the ‘Young People’ hub which young people can access in their own time, to develop their financial and core transferable skills.

Metro Bank

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“It’s not like when you turn 16, 17 and all of a sudden you know how to be an adult. It doesn’t work like that… I haven’t met a care leaver, yet, who is not in debt.”

Casey, Wolverhampton

Metro Bank

Metro Bank

Covenant Stories

Supporting care leavers to be financially independent.

Signatory: Metro Bank
Location: Nationwide

About Metro Bank

Metro Bank is the newest high street bank in the country and now has over 75 branches across England and Wales.

Metro Bank quickly became known for its exceptional customer service, winning a variety of awards and attracting customers into store while other banks close their branches to focus on online banking.

Metro Bank are committed to finding solutions for vulnerable customers and we encouraged them create a supportive account opening process that responded to challenges typically faced by care leavers.

What’s the story?

Through careful procedural work within Metro Bank, and close collaboration with the Covenant and local authority care leaving teams, Metro Bank developed a bespoke account opening process for care leavers that removes the need for a long-term fixed address and photo ID.

The process, which can be requested in any of their stores in England, was recently piloted by a group of young people in Oxford (central Oxford store) with the support of the National House Project and Oxford City Council.

The straightforward process and supportive staff in store were well received by the young people involved, with seven young people opening accounts.

Metro Bank

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If you, or someone you know, has been affected any of the issues covered in this article, and you feel you may benefit from our free impartial advise, do please contact us.

How does it work?

 

“With my work I need a bank account because it gives me a bit of independence. Instead of pay slips having to be sent to someone else I can manage my own money and learn to save, and when to spend and when not to. That’s been really important to me since I got a job.

The Metro Bank staff were really straightforward and helpful and had information ready for questions that might be asked. It was really good to go into branch as it was nice to be able to talk face-to-face. It meant that I was able to get straight answers and I was out of there within 15 minutes. It was easier than I thought it would be.”

Isobel, Oxford

Tuckers Solicitors

Tuckers Solicitors

Covenant Stories

Supporting care leavers to live independently.

Signatory: Tuckers Solicitors
Location: Nationwide

Who is Tuckers?

Tuckers is the UK’s leading criminal defence law firm. Established in 1983, they have over 150 lawyers based across their exceptional office network: from Kent in the South to Birmingham, Stoke, Manchester and many more locations.

With their national coverage and commitment to human rights and fair treatment, Tuckers have become an invaluable signatory to the Care Leaver Covenant.

What’s the story?

Understanding the legal system, from detention to court appearance, can be a challenge for care leavers and the individuals who work with them. We felt that human discussion, rather than long written documents, was a better way to explore this and communicate it to care leavers.

As part of National Care Leavers week 2020, we delivered two seminars with Tuckers and our partners, the National House Project, to help with navigating these challenges. The seminars provide practical advice and guidance on legal rights, as well as lived experiences from a care leaver.

Bournville Village Trust

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If you, or someone you know, has been affected any of the issues covered in this article, and you feel you may benefit from our free impartial advise, do please contact us.

How to access Tuckers’ support

(Please click here for all information on Tuckers’ offer to care leavers)

If you, or a care leaver you are working with, needs legal support, please make contact with the office closest to the young person’s residence using the following points of contact. If you’d like to contact us by phone, use the central number 0845 200 3367.

Manchester – Franklin Sinclair – 

Bury – Paul Callaghan –

Birmingham – James Turner – 

London – Adam Makepeace – 

Kent – Richard Atkinson – 

Sussex – Kirsty Craghill – 

Stoke on Trent – Debbie Leadbeater – 

Taunton – Paul Light – 

Our full contact page is here

“Although care experienced people often have a number of professionals offering them support in the community, unless those professionals know about one another they can’t provide a joined-up approach to help resolve issues.  We have worked to raise the profile of the issues affecting those with care experience in the Criminal Justice System with the aim of improving outcomes for them.”

James Turner Senior Partner, Tuckers Solicitors

Severn Trent – Big Difference Scheme

Severn Trent – Big Difference Scheme

Covenant Stories

Supporting care leavers to live independently.

Signatory: Severn Trent Water
Locations: Coventry, Wolverhampton, Shropshire, Birmingham, Telford & Wrekin

Severn Trent – Big Difference Scheme

Severn Trent is one of the largest water suppliers In the UK, based In Coventry and servicing millions of homes across the Midlands. As a critical utility provider, they understand the impact they have on the successful transition of care leavers transitioning to independent living. Working In partnership with Coventry City Council and in support of the Care Leaver Covenant, Severn Trent launched an ‘Industry First’ initiative to provide financial support for care leavers.

What’s the opportunity?

For many care leavers, managing bills and personal finances for the first time can be daunting and isolating. Care leavers face the challenge of paying a variety of utility bills for the first time, unaided, which can be difficult to navigate, and many are ending up in arrears with providers.  

Severn Trent’s ‘Big Difference’ scheme tackles this. The pilot, which rolled out across Coventry in 2020, involved hundreds of care leavers who were offered 70% off bills in their first year and further discounts off their bills until the age of 25.

The success of the pilot led Severn Trent to work with the Covenant to identify other local authorities – within their network – who wanted to participate. In 2021 plans to roll out this social tariff across the West Midlands means that over 1,500 care leavers could benefit from the scheme.

Severn Trent also have plans to develop a Graduate and Apprentice Hub In Coventry and provide a space to offer training, support and life skills to care leavers across the city.

Severn Trent

Do you relate to this?

If you, or someone you know, has been affected any of the issues covered in this article, and you feel you may benefit from our free impartial advise, do please contact us.

How does it work?

  • Severn Trent and/or Care Leaver Covenant work in collaboration with local authorities to identify leaving care teams willing to participate In the scheme.
  • Data sharing agreement Is signed between the organisation and local authority
  • Participation/Personal advisors Identify care leavers eligible for the scheme and make a referral via a SPOC within the authority.
  • Severn Trent will match those account holders to the data shared by the authority to correctly apply any relevant discounts to that person’s account.
  • The care leaver will then automatically benefit from the scheme.
  • Data and progress are shared with the Covenant as part of their signatory commitment.

Impact

  • Already in 2021 over 188 young people across Wolverhampton & Coventry are benefitting from the discount to their water bills.
  • Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Birmingham are all in the process of registering care leavers.
  • Current yearly bills for water and sewage from Severn Trent are £369 (2020/21). This means care leavers in their first year will save over £250.

“I’m really happy that we don’t need to pay as much towards the water as this is a new tenancy and we’re still settling into adult life and are looking for discounts wherever we can find them. This massive discount in our water provides a lot of help towards running our home.”

Bree Reeves Coventry