Care Leavers Enjoy Christmas Celebration
This Christmas Day, volunteers hosted a magical celebration for Kirklees care leavers. 25 care leavers attended the party which was held at a secret Huddersfield venue.
The event, which was hosted by Third Sector Leaders Kirklees and supported by Kirklees Council, would not have been possible without the help of local people and businesses. The event received masses of support from the community in terms of donations, and volunteers worked tirelessly to organise the event and prepare the venue.
A Christmas Day volunteer from Third Sector Leaders Kirklees said:
“I just wanted to let you know how humbling it was to be able to help and I was overwhelmed with everything that was given to the young people, as I know they were as well. I got a big hug from ‘K’ – a young care leaver – and she had tears of happiness as she got in her taxi.”
What is the aim of the event?
The Christmas Dinner is in its seventh year but this was its first visit to Huddersfield. The aim of this annual event is to make sure vulnerable young people who are leaving care have a Christmas to remember, rather than being alone on this day of togetherness.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children said:
“We were absolutely delighted to support this wonderful event for care leavers. These young people would have been alone on Christmas Day but, instead, they had an opportunity to join together, enjoy each other’s company and create memories to cherish for years to come.
I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who made the Christmas Dinner such a success. It is a testament to the goodwill of those in our community and is the embodiment of Christmas spirit.”
Spending Christmas together
The young care leavers and volunteers spent Christmas Day together opening presents, enjoying a festive feast and watching the Huddersfield Community Gospel Choir. Everyone left with a warm fuzzy feeling and a belly full of mince pies!
Supporting young people
It is a priority for Kirklees Council to give young people the best start in life. Care leavers have a social worker until the age of 25, however, support comes in many forms. In Kirklees, people in care have access to Number 11 and Number 12, facilities which act as a hub for young care leavers to socialise, do their washing and receive the support they need to become independent. This includes cooking sessions, guidance about leading a healthy lifestyle, managing the bills, and staying well. The initiative has been praised by central government for the innovative support that Kirklees Council are offering vulnerable young people.
How can you get involved?
The Christmas Dinner is a life-line for young carers. If you want to get involved next year, follow @TCDHuddersfield on Facebook to keep up to date with the event. The group usually meet in September to begin the planning for Christmas.