SNG launches new support scheme with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation for care leavers in Hampshire

Sovereign Network Group (SNG) has announced a new match funding agreement with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) to support care leavers in making a successful, thriving future with access to a new three-year fund.

SNG is match funding the organisation with a sum of £99,000 over three years after HIWCF successfully bid for an equal share from The Care Leaver Programme led by the UK Community Foundations and the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

There were 46,000 care leavers between 17 and 21 years old in England alone in 2022, according to data from the House of Commons. In Hampshire, there are currently approximately 2,500 care leavers aged between 18 and 25 years. Each year, young people leaving the care system meet a range of challenges that their peers might not experience. Issues in transitional and practical support mean that care leavers may be less likely to get the help they need to make a positive start as a young adult.  Gaps in support have been found when it comes to relationships and mentoring, education, employment and mental health.

Young people are a particularly important focus of SNG’s community investment work and working in partnership with external specialists has the best chance of successfully delivering and multiplying the benefits of such funding. Helping vulnerable young people to grow and thrive as individuals is key to successful and prosperous lives, and care leavers are one group that SNG as a housing association is keen to support.

This fund will offer £33,000 across each of the three years and will be targeted to a range of key interventions known to meet the needs of care leavers at this point of their lives to make successful transitions. A proportion of the funding will be targeted to the individual care leavers including bursaries for further or higher education, deposits for furniture, white goods or home IT equipment, funding for therapy or counselling and support for transport costs. At group level, this will cover the cost of sessions on financial resilience, budgeting and more.

Andrew Cooper, Head of Partnerships and Funding at SNG said: “We know from data that care leavers face particular challenges and normally lack secure support networks of family. Targeted interventions have the potential to make a real difference to their lives.

At SNG, working in partnership with external specialists makes a real difference to how we invest in communities effectively and so we are delighted to be working to maximise the benefit of this funding with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation.”

Jacqui Scott, Chief Executive Officer of HIWCF said: “Care leavers often face adulthood with challenges that their peers wouldn’t – they may have had disrupted schooling or had limited support in the practical aspects of adulthood like budgeting or may need professional support with emotional issues if they have had traumatic experiences. Through this funding we can find innovative approaches to support young people who have left care, to help them positively transition to adulthood having gained the right help at the right time. 

“Funds from this programme could be used to access items that we often take for granted but are vital for everyday life. For example, a laptop is now a vital piece of equipment for study and a smart outfit is a must have for interviews. Many young people’s parents are able to help cover these costs – but that simply may not be possible for a care leaver. We are so pleased that this funding will also reach groups delivering effective support to young care leavers, as well as to young care leavers themselves to utilise in the ways they most urgently need.”

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