To celebrate Care Leavers Week 2020, the council are helping to launch an exciting new project which will bring together young people with experience of being in care.

The council is working with a local group called Creative Scene to set up a writing challenge which will enable care leavers to tell their unique stories, highlight the issues they face and share their achievements and dreams.

There are around 99,000 children in care in the UK, with over 10,000 young people per year leaving the care system and becoming care leavers.

The Kirklees scheme is designed to celebrate care leavers’ talents, teach new skills, and give them an influential voice.

It will begin with a special online performance by renowned writer and poet Louise Wallwein MBE, who was in care herself from a young age. Louise will also work with local care leavers to help them write their stories.

The project will then be continued by Creative Scene, which is based in North Kirklees and is led by a consortium of the council, the Lawrence Batley Theatre and the Batley Festival.

Creative Scene aims to change the way people experience and participate in art and culture.

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Councillor Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said: “It’s absolutely essential for care leavers that we provide as much support as possible. Leaving care can be difficult as these young people often face a wide range of challenges and need help to lead their lives more independently.”

Kendrick said, “This is a high priority for the council, and we do everything we can to support them. For example, our two dedicated care leaver centres – in Dewsbury and Huddersfield – teach valuable life skills, ease the transition and have won praise from central government.”

“Our work with Creative Scene is another way of helping care leavers gain new experiences and achieve their potential.”

Nancy Barrett, Director of Creative Scene, said: “We are launching this new project to support young people with experience of being in care to have a voice and express their creativity.”

“Louise Wallwein is turning her living room into a theatre and will be performing excerpts from “Glue”, her own story about being in care and seeking out her birth mother. It’s going to be a very special show with Louise, who will also share her top tips for creative writing.”

Care Leavers Week 2020 starts on Monday October 26