Shaping Portsmouth receives funding to help city’s care leavers

A CITY organisation has received funding from the National Lottery to enable it to help young people get off to a flying start in their careers.

Shaping Portsmouth received funding from Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund to go towards its Care Leavers programme, which provides support for young people after leaving care and to prepare those still in the care system in their next steps.

It aims to offer people who have left the care system, but have little support, a business mentor to help them on the road to a career, as well as a role model/mentor to younger adults still in the care system to help them get ready for the world they are going to move into.

The programme will be shaped with the help of former care leavers and will aim to build ongoing relationships between the business community and the care leaver.

There are currently around 300 care leavers in the city, 200 of whom are eligible for the programme.

Samantha McGrath, head of partner development of Shaping Portsmouth, said: ‘We hope to help these care leavers on the road to a fulfilling career and to offer them continued support across all areas of their life and future goals.

‘The funding has helped us to maintain the brilliant progress we are making with our Care Leavers programme. Thanks to the Government for making this possible.’

The programme is led by Ken Ebbens and supported by various volunteers throughout the city, including Ashley Cullen from Shaping Portsmouth, Amanda Percy, Adam Murphy, Joe Weltch and Emily Wheatley from Portsmouth City Council, Gethin Jones from Flying Solo and Unlocking Potential, Hope McKellar from Hope McKellar PR and Julian Wadsworth from Active Communities.

Shaping Portsmouth is continuing to deliver existing projects in the community, while expanding new projects to support young people who have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, working with the council and charity Flying Solo to recruit and pair mentors with care leavers.

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