25 October 2021

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Barnardo’s protects and supports the UK's most vulnerable children and young people. Last year the charity directly supported more than 358,800 children, young people and families across more than 800 services guided by one simple aim: to provide the best outcome for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.

Barnardo’s helps children, young people and their families in many ways. It provides support for care-experienced children and young people, those affected by the trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation, LGBT+ young people and children at risk of homelessness. At a time when more young people need specialist help with complex issues like sexual abuse, mental health problems and serious violence, the charity’s work is more vital than ever. It offers information and direct support with fostering and adoption and specialist workers support families who are experiencing domestic abuse, mental health issues, seeking asylum and much more.

Leaving home is a challenge for everyone, but young people leaving care often do so without the support of a loving family. 11,000 young people leave care every year in the UK. They often find themselves isolated, alone, and unable to find help.

For vulnerable young people, having a safe and stable home is a crucial factor in their journey to independence. Yet too often, young people leaving the care system face a cliff edge when they turn 18. Many leave full time education, lose access to specialist support for their mental health, and leave their foster family all at the same time, and are often expected to live in accommodation that is unsuitable and sometimes unsafe.

That’s why Barnardo’s helps young people bridge the gap between residential or foster care and living in the adult world.

This week, 25th to 31st October, is National Care Leavers Week and Barnardo’s is raising awareness of the challenges these young people face and the much-needed support Barnardo’s provides to help them:

  • Find somewhere to live
  • Manage their money
  • Continue with education
  • Find work or training
  • Access ongoing support and counselling after leaving care

The players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported Barnardo’s since 2018 and have raised over £5.9 million during this time. This funding means the charity can be there for more vulnerable children, young people, and their families to help make their futures brighter.