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Care Leavers Awards celebrating young care leavers who completed training and sustained tenancies

Care leavers who live in Citizen homes have been commended at a prestigious award ceremony.

The Care Leavers Awards celebrate people between the ages of 16 and 18 who have completed training, in skills such as budgeting, have successfully sustained their tenancies with us and are now in employment or education.

There were also special award categories throughout the night including the Future Leader Award and the Sports Hero award.

All of the people who won awards are part of the House Project – a scheme in which we have partnered with Coventry City Council to identify suitable one-bedroom properties for care leavers to move into.

The project is a 12-month training programme with the council, where the young care leavers learn various skills and move into one of our homes at the six month point to learn how to sustain a tenancy.

As part of the project, we offer a range of support through our Neighbourhoods and Tenancy Sustainment teams to help young people understand how to manage their tenancy successfully, offering advice and support on education and getting them into employment.

This ceremony marked the graduation of the first group of young people to take part in the training programme.

Our Neighbourhood Manager Carrie Gilbert said: “The awards ceremony was so inspiring. The 10 young people we have supported within this first cohort are incredible!

“Cohort one graduated as part of the awards ceremony and were all invited to the stage to receive an award. The whole group were successful in completing the training programme which meant they all graduated – it was such a proud moment for us all in the Neighbourhoods team!”

Carrie added all participants successfully sustained their tenancies and are all either in work or education and have clear aspirations for their future.

She said: “Two of the cohort co-presented the awards. They spoke clearly, they were really passionate, and it was so lovely to see. One member of the cohort even sang at the end of the awards ceremony!

“A couple of them are representing care leavers on a national basis as part of the care leavers national movement, which is fantastic.

“All of the young people from this first cohort are brilliant, they have clear aspirations for their future, they are all building lovely homes and are all working towards either employment or training.

“There’s a big opportunity for us to take this project even further and we’re working with Coventry City Council to develop ways that we can get involved in the process earlier to offer even more support. This time next year we plan to have even more involvement in the graduation and awards ceremony too!”

Operational Lead in Children’s Social Care at Coventry City Council Natasha Stirling said: “The awards were a wonderful celebration of the achievements of our first cohort. The partnership we have with Citizen on this project is invaluable.

“The support Citizen is giving as part of this project is fantastic! Not only are homes being provided but there is a holistic approach to supporting these young care leavers to help them maintain their tenancies and to teach them how to run a home. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Citizen as we develop and enhance the Care Leavers Project”.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Coventry City Council Councillor Patricia Seaman said: “The Care Leaver Awards are a wonderful night where we celebrate the fantastic achievements of some of our city’s amazing young people and their many successes.

“They are only just starting out in life, but they have already accomplished so much in their young lives. Many have overcome significant obstacles and celebrated personal achievements; others have earned success in exams and work and celebrated those.

“They all have amazing stories and this is just our little way of saying ‘well done’ and to let them know how proud we all are, as well as recognising the hard work of those who have helped them on their way. We are so dedicated to giving our city’s young people the best start in life.

“Congratulations to everyone, to those who won awards and all our care leavers who have shown such courage and determination and achieved so much.”

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