Keep Care Leavers Connected - Campaign and Petition!

Keep Care Leavers Connected - Campaign and Petition!

Posted 29th September 2020

An update from Rosie Blackett, Young Peoples Participation and Development Worker.

As the world continues to battle coronavirus, The National House Project (NHP) continues to work tirelessly in supporting local authorities and young people to live independent and fulfilling lives. Alongside this they have also been supporting the Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) with their Digital Poverty Campaign to ensure care leavers are digitally connected.

Digital Poverty was brought to our attention back in February 2020 when CLNM discussed it as an issue that they all collectively face. This issue was heightened when we went into lockdown and the campaign has been growing with momentum and purpose ever since.

If lockdown and restrictions on your daily life have affected you, raised your anxiety levels or made you feel isolated, how do you think an 18 year old care leaver feels…with no funds and accessibility to stay digitally connected?

Our fundraising campaign has to date ensured all care leavers in House Projects across the country are digitally connected but this isn’t enough for CLNM… they have been making strides forward to ensure society understands that digital poverty is affecting ALL care leavers and how it is widening the digital divide between them and the rest of society. To see their journey to date click here.

As part of the campaign CLNM have produced a film about how Digital Poverty is affecting them. Watching this film, it becomes clear that society is letting these vulnerable yet fantastic young adults down.

Through the work CLNM has done across social media and other networking platforms the NHP have joined up with a number of leading charities and youth organisations who are all aligned to improve outcomes for care leavers and ensure that they are digitally connected. Charities include Catch 22, Care Leaver Covenant, The Childrens Society, Esme Fairbairn and Partnership for Young London.

Together we are working as an alliance to achieve the following three outcomes through an open letter to Government:

  1. Extend and improve uptake of the government scheme that provides digital devices and internet for care leavers.
  2. Ensure every care leaver in England has a digital device and internet access for at least 12 months when they first live independently
  3. Recommend that all local offers for care leavers include the right to a digital device and internet access

Outcome one is required immediately to ensure care leavers are not left digitally isolated in the short term. Outcomes two and three are needed to ensure society fulfils its commitment to its care leavers – the commitment it made to offer them a better life when they became their corporate parent.

“Having internet access has saved my life” – CLNM rep

How can you help?
  1. Read the letter and find out more at the campaign website hosted by Catch 22.
  2. View our film, created by CLNM, on what digital access means to them.
  3. Show your support on social media: #connectcareleavers
  4. Sign Luke’s petition calling on Government to keep care leavers digitally connected
Sign Petition Now

For further information, to share ideas/thoughts or for interviews, please contact: melissa.milner@catch-22.org

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