CLNM Conference 2023
Posted 3rd November 2023
On Thursday 19 October the House Project community of young people, colleagues and partners from across the UK came together for the annual Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) Conference, ‘Sense of Wellbeing’; hosted at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester.
The day celebrated young people and projects, with a focus on Wellbeing and how this links to relationships and community, both of which are fundamental in the House Project approach.
The day was designed and delivered by young people. Their drive to change the outcomes for future young people in care was clear and young people were proud to present their findings and recommendations from their recent Peer Evaluation.
We heard from young people and Partnership for Young London about the work that had been done to complete CLNM’s second Peer Evaluation. It focused on Ownership, Home, and Sense of Wellbeing. The findings were overwhelmingly positive with most young people saying that they would recommend the House Project to other young people. Their skilful interviewing found that as well as the very positive findings, there were also things that we needed to work on. You can read more about the Peer Evaluation here.
CLNM’s representative from Coventry House Project, Chloe, said:
“One of the four CLNM objectives is to peer evaluate our house projects so they are the very best they can be. We do this by training as peer researchers and developing an evaluation framework that links to the NHP practice framework, ORCHIDS. As with all evaluations the work done to obtain the information that ultimately creates change is important"
Young people were joined on stage by partners who have had a real impact on their Sense of Wellbeing and are also a huge part of their community. These included; Dave from Madlug, Maria from Suited and Booted and Matthew from Partnership for Young London. The conference was opened by Jimmy Paul, Head of Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. Jimmy said of the day:
“The CLNM Conference this year was absolutely incredible. To see so many people, especially young people, coming together and exploring what wellbeing means for them and their peers, was a joy. Each and every child deserves love, hope and opportunity, and this is particularly true of those in and ‘leaving’ care. I look forward to seeing the CLNM and the NHP grow, and I hope their work gains many more supporters in the coming months, ensuring that every young person can experience a high quality of wellbeing”
The conference included presentations, films, shared experiences, and positive stories from young people who have experienced life within care. The final presentations of the day focussed on mental, physical and emotional wellbeing with young people sharing their top tips with the wider House Project community.
As well as the formal presentations each Local House Project and partner organisation had a stall showcasing some of the work they have been doing with young people leaving care to improve their wellbeing. There was a real buzz to this networking experience and young people, staff and organisations came away feeling energised and connected with the House Project Community.
The conference programme concluded with a rap written and presented by CLNM representative Mya, who uses music to have a sense of wellbeing.
Watch the short film of the day here.
NHP supports young people leaving care with white goods to ease the financial burden as they move into their first home. Leaving care and moving into your first home is a significant milestone for young people but this journey towards independent living is fraught with challenges. For care leavers, the dream of having their own place can quickly turn into a daunting reality when they realise that many everyday essentials, like new fridges and washing machines, remain out of reach due to financial constraints. NHP recognises that having these appliances isn't a luxury but a necessity for building a stable, comfortable home.Read more
On Sunday 12th November, over 40 runners ran the Alton Towers Half Marathon to raise monies for the 'Care Leavers: Kitchen Comfort' campaign. Despite the pouring rain the runners completed the course to support young people, raising over £9000. Two young people, Kieran and Paris, who had been supported by NHP ran in support of their community of care leavers and were delighted to have run their first half marathon.Read more
This year’s Peer Evaluation focused on Ownership, Home, and Sense of Wellbeing. Young people worked closely with Matthew Walsham from Partnership for Young London and were trained as Peer Evaluators. As a result, they fully understood and were immersed in the process. The Evaluation took the form of participatory action research which works well for CLNM because it involves participants and researchers working together to change something for the better. The evaluation captured the views and experiences of 147 young people. This included 381 minutes of interview time across 32 different interviews, alongside 115 surveys being completed.Read more