The residents of Bradford, business, organisations and the University of Bradford have come together to provide young people aged between 16-25-years-old who are leaving or have left care with a special Christmas dinner and party.

The party is to take place today at 12pm at the Midland Hotel, Bradford where the likes of Rotary Club of Bradford Bronte, The Midland Hotel, the districts residents, the University of Bradford, Morrison’s and Asda (Shipley) have kindly donated money and gifts.

As well as a Christmas buffet the young people will each receive a present donated by staff from Bradford Council and residents.  Gifts were donated by staff in their role as corporate parent along with Bradford residents. The University of Bradford has also made a donation to give each young person a gift card as a present.  Morrison’s have donated toiletries and Asda have donated selections boxes.  Idle C of E have donated food hampers. Storehouse have provided hats, scarfs and gloves for all.

Councillor Adrian Farley, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Children and Families, said:  “This event is so important for our care leavers to be able to come together and celebrate at this special time of year.  Christmas, like all holiday times, can be a particularly significant time for children in care and care leavers.

“Most of our looked after children spend Christmas with their carers or family members and have a great time.  However, many of our care leavers don’t have much in the way of money or presents and often people to spend time with.  This is why the Christmas dinner is so important.

“I would like to thank staff at Bradford Council, residents, businesses, charities and the University for all their support in making sure that this event can go ahead and making it so special.”

The Through Care Service supports young people as they become more independent and start to move out of the care system. They may have been in a children’s home, foster care or supported living. The service provides a range of support including helping young people apply for higher education places, training and jobs.

Future events that the University are also sponsoring include a New Year cinema screening of Mary Poppins Returns at Cineworld for approx. 300 young people, with refreshments and a selection box and an exclusive Bounce Planet sessions for foster families, which includes refreshments and other activities.

Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford said: “These are great initiatives and I am pleased that the University has been able to assist in helping these young people receive a Christmas meal and gift. With future events planned, such as the cinema and bounce planet trips, we hope to  help even more young people and families in the region.