What can I do to support care-experienced young people through the COVID-19 crisis?
This is not the time for catchy slogans and memorable images. Care leavers need your help to get through this crisis and they need it now!
"My fears are that I will be on my own with no food and no electricity and can’t afford to feed my cats. As I have depression it will make me feel separated and alone." - R. 23, care leaver
The current crisis affects us all. Nevertheless, care-experienced young people will disproportionately suffer the consequences of the world fighting the Coronavirus. Many of them have lost their jobs or student bursaries with no recourse to advance payments from public funds, no savings in the bank and no family to support them financially or emotionally.
"For us, where do we turn when we have no money or no money for bills? Organizations are exhausted and have little to nothing to be able to give. Universal Credit is unable to give out advances as you’re still paying off the one you owed from last year not knowing that a crisis was looming." - T. 21, care leaver
These young people are eager to move forward in life, and in times of crisis, they rely on all of us to support them.
"I’ve struggled with my depression and anxiety for a number of years and it tends to worsen as I feel demotivated or unable to get out and about." - M. 19, care leaver
Your donation will help them:
pay their gas, electricity and water bills, helping them not fall into debt;
cover their broadband and mobile phone bills so that they can stay connected, continue their education and find support;
help them buy daily essentials from food, to toiletries, to flu medicine, to baby nappies and pet supplies;
access additional support to help the cope with the current situation.
Together, we can help care-experienced young people get through this crisis. Thank you for your support today!
To learn more about care leavers, our charity, or find out how you can have a real impact through volunteering please visit driveforwardfoundation.org
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Year roundup for our Policy Forum
Rounding of our work for 2019 – and making plans for 2020 – care-experienced members of our London and Manchester policy forums came together for the first time.
Meeting on a Saturday, 13 policy forum members sat down together to evaluate the last year. The group looked at our campaign to end unnecessary criminalisation in care, end stigma and discrimination, and finally discussed our expansion into working with care experienced people outside of London.
Three members of the Manchester Policy Forum travelled down to London to feed back on their first six months as a group. In regards to the criminalisation working group, members fed back on progress made at City Hall and discussed other areas to advocate for in the new year- including pushing for the reform of England’s youth criminal records system. Recent findings and activity in relation to our ending discrimination and stigma of care-experienced people working group was also discussed.
Mapping out plans for next year, the group decided to diversify those they targeted to include institutions outside of local government and Westminster. In 2020 the Policy Forum plans to engage with the local press, higher education providers and many more.
The group then spent one hour speaking with Lord Francis Listowel, learning about the House of Lords and how to best approach using this institution for their campaigns. Lord Listowel then took time to take questions from policy members and listen to their experiences of the care system. He plans to meet with members of the group again in the new year.
The day was closed with a redraft of the group’s manifesto, due to be released at the start of next year. It was decided to re-use the five themes of Accountability, Stability, Opportunity & Aspiration, Love, and Community.
Practice makes perfect: taking the stress out of interviews
At our November Interview Prep & Pizza event, nine professionals from three corporate partners introduced a group of young people to different job interview styles and techniques. A big thank you to our partners at Baringa, Destilled and AS Financial.
Sweaty hands, restless feet, a dry mouth… sounds familiar? Despite living in a digitalised world with lengthily application forms, video interviews and assessment centres, the classic face-to-face interview is still one of the most dreaded stages when applying for the job you want. Especially for young people the job interview can easily become a very uncomfortable experience; the smart dress feels a bit alien; the corporate environment appears intimidating; having to talk to people they’ve never met before. On top of that, there’s the pressure of actually performing well.
Recognising all these various factors our ‘Interview Prep & Pizza’ puts a positive and fun spin to the classic interview training. Interviewers come from a diverse range of industries and all have experience of HR and recruitment. This puts them into a great position to help our young people understand and tackle different interview styles; from traditional CV-based interviews, to competency-based questions, to creative interview approaches.
Each participant will go around the room completing multiple interviews. They have approximately 7 minutes to convince the interviewer that they’re the right person for the job before the buzzer jolts and they’re provided with instant feedback on their performance; feedback which they can take away and instantly try to implement at the next table.
If you are interested in becoming part of our professional network that exists as a positive role model to individuals we support at Drive Forward whether through interview practise or our other activities, please get in touch.