Covenant Stories

Supporting care leavers to live independently.

Signatory: Bourneville Village Trust
Location: Birmingham

Who is Bourneville Village Trust (BVT)?

BVT is a charity and community-based housing organisation working in Birmingham and Shropshire. Founded by George Cadbury, of Cadbury chocolate, BVT’s mission is to sustain communities where people can thrive.

What’s the story?

Housing is a challenge for many care leavers who typically do not have the family, social and financial support that it takes to move into an independent home when you’re just starting out in adult life. It is essential that we support care leavers to find safe and secure living environments so that they have the base from which to socialize, pursue EET, financial independence and all kinds of activities.

As a community-based housing organisation, BVT are committed to supporting care leavers. They signed the Covenant in 2020 in order provide more focused opportunities.

In January 2020 we introduced BVT to Sabrina, an exceptional young woman who was studying and job hunting and wasn’t comfortable in her accommodation. BVT quickly created the opportunity for Sabrina to enhance her standard of living. The flat BVT offered her was not only affordable but it came with added benefits such as a Communities Officer, who checks in every 4 weeks, and a dedicated Welfare Inclusion Officer, who can offer support including financial advice.

This has worked well for Sabrina and the support is not limited to her. BVT offer all of their care leavers this tailored support, as well as advice on things like the cheapest energy tariffs and cheap contents insurance – useful hacks when you’re starting out!

Bournville Village Trust

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?

Get in touch with BVT at ku.gr1643032891o.tvb1643032891@sgni1643032891ttelm1643032891ahgni1643032891mrib1643032891 using the subject line Care Leaver Covenant Support. If you don’t have regular email/internet access, ask a support worker to get in touch on your behalf.

BVT will offer where possible:           

  1. Move-on accommodation in our social rented properties where suitable and beneficial to the care leaver
  2. An initial offer of focused support to manage their tenancy during the first 12 months, followed by ad hoc support after this time
  3. Support in developing their skills/using their experience through our ‘Village Voices’ and community-led activities.

“The Covenant have been a really great help and I’ve loved working with them. I still can’t believe that I got the opportunity to get my new house! This has helped me to gain confidence and a sense of peace knowing that there are people who can give [me] great support!”.

Sabrina Care Leaver