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Christmas comes early for care leavers

Written by on 2 January 2021

Stoke-on-Trent’s young people leaving care are set for a rosier Christmas this year after an appeal saw hundreds of gifts donated by city council staff and their friends and family as well as local businesses over the last few weeks.

The gifts have been wrapped by volunteers at the civic centre and from local charities and distributed to young people across the city in time for Christmas day.

Around 220 care leavers (young people aged 18 to 25) will receive gifts including clothing, toiletries, stationery, cosmetics and selection boxes.

Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “For most children Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for many of our young people leaving care it can be quite a daunting and lonely time. We’re really delighted with the response to our appeal and I’m sure the young people will be happy with their gifts. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated presents.

“Some care leavers – many of whom now live independently having lived with foster families or in children’s homes – have little or no contact with their families, so the support they get from the city council helps make them feel part of our community at a time when they could feel isolated and alone.”

The council helps hundreds of young people make the move out of care to independent living every year, and offers a number of support packages to help them prepare for adult life. More details can be found at stoke.gov.uk