Young care leavers supported by police commissioner’s fund

Jason Ablewhite with Councillor Simon Bywater

Jason Ablewhite with Councillor Simon Bywater - Credit: Archant

Young people leaving care have received funding from the county’s police and crime commissioner to help them move into further education, training or work.

Jason Ablewhite announced the £3,000 funding at Kings Ripton Court, in Huntingdon to mark National Care Leaver's Week, which ran until November 3.

Through mentoring, training opportunities and activities that promote wellbeing, each individual is supported to take their next step towards independent living.

Cambridgeshire County Council will use the money to purchase a number of bikes to help young adults who have been in care without access to transport to get to a work place, a college or a university to enable them to live independently.

Over the last six months, Mr Ablewhite has funded 16 projects helping young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to thrive in their local communities.

"It's amazing how a relatively small amount of money can make such a difference to the health and wellbeing of young people," Mr Ablewhite said.

"Being able to help young people progress and support themselves is what my Youth and Community Fund is all about."

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Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council's children and young people committee, said: : "For care leavers, moving into adulthood can be a particularly vulnerable time and it's important we do all we can to protect and guide them while they go on to live independently.

"This is one of a number of new projects we are working on to ensure any obstacles preventing care leavers from accessing education, employment or training are removed while improving their health and wellbeing at the same time.

"We would like to encourage local organisations looking to take part in community projects to get in touch as we know there is so much more that can be done to develop support for the young adults who have been in our care."

The commissioner's Youth and Community Fund, now in its fourth year, supports young people to actively participate and contribute where they live, helping them to become positive citizens and lead more fulfilling lives.

The fund is open to voluntary and community organisations who can apply for grants of up to £3,000 towards their project.

Kings Ripton Court is a Salvation Army Lifehouse in Huntingdon that offers a safe and supportive place to call home for vulnerable young people aged 16-25.

Currently, nine out of 32 residents were referred to the Salvation Army because they were leaving care.