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We keep on caring when state stops
Friday, 30 September 2011
MOST people who leave home know they have a bed to come back to and family to turn to for advice.
But when people who are looked after by the local authority come of age, they are left to fend for themselves with virtually no support.
This is why Angela Nairne set up Stepping Up UK in Borough.
It’s a charity that provides parental role models, a safe place to visit and practical advice to young people who have been in care.
Former charity project manager Angela, from Blackheath, has been nominated for an Our Heroes Award as part of this paper’s campaign to celebrate the achievements of people in South London.
She said: “I became quite passionate about the issues care leavers were facing.
“When I researched support for them, I found there was nothing.
“It’s like they are abandoned by the state. “I’m a mother and my children are 27 and 20, but I don’t ask them to leave home.
“Even if they go off to university they still have support.”
She said in London there were many care leavers who are refugees and highly traumatised.
Stepping Up UK also runs a Saturday club for young people, giving practical advice on life skills such as managing budgets, paying bills and cooking.
Every week, young people get a free alternative therapy session such as massage or reflexology.
Stepping Up UK is hoping to recruit volunteer mentors, willing to commit to at least eight hours a month.
Angela said: “Mentors are like a substitute parent, someone to spend recreational time with, someone to ask advice of, all rolled into one.
“One of the problems for young care leavers is that they have no one to help them deal with the day-to-day practical things.
“The foster carers would have been managing their finances but suddenly they’re having to become self-reliant.”
The charity is planning a volunteer recruitment drive next month.
Visit www.steppingupuk.org.uk for more information.
Nominations for Our Heroes have now closed.
The judging panel has been given the list of contenders to pick the winners. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony hosted at the South Bank headquarters of award sponsors Shell on November 15.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Saturday, 25 May 2013
Other Our Heroes Awards 2011:
Sir Ray Tindle
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