What We Do

 

We enable looked after children and young care leavers in the borough of Barnet to unleash their individual talents and passions by providing access to hobbies, training and learning opportunities, sports and leisure activities.

We are passionate about helping every looked after child and care leaver in the borough of Barnet feel valued and supported as they move towards becoming independent adults.

We offer Driving Ahead, a package of 30 hours of driving lessons and driving test for young care leavers up to the age of 25, provided in partnership with the AA.

Our other scheme, the Imagination Trust, is currently on hold while we develop and improve it to make it even more empowering for the young people that we serve.

We believe that all children who spend time in Barnet’s care should have equal chances to lead happy and fulfilling lives. “At the heart of everything we do is a vision that every looked after child and young care leaver should have the same chances in life as a child living with their birth family,” John Hooton, Chair

doubledonations

We’re excited to be taking part in Champions for Children’s Campaign week. The campaign, which runs from midday on 8th June until midday on 15th June is supporting London’s most vulnerable children and young people who’ve been so badly affected by Covid.

Every £1 donated during campaign week will be DOUBLED, meaning twice the number of young people will be able to benefit from our schemes.

Our fundraising target for the week is £6,000*. If we hit this target we will receive a whopping £12,000, which means we can help to reduce social isolation, improve job prospects and provide new skills to Barnet’s 329 looked after children and 357 care leavers.

All proceeds raised go towards running our three successful schemes;

Driving Ahead: A package of 30 hours driving lessons and practical driving test for 17+ year olds. Learning to drive can be a game changer for care leavers, but with the average cost of learning to drive coming in at £1,384 it’s no wonder this life skill is out of reach for most care experienced people. We’ve already helped four people to gain their driving licences and improve their job prospects and have 13 more learner drivers signed on to our scheme.

Outdoor Club:  An outdoors activity scheme for 9-13 year olds, delivered by Barnet-based Wild About Our Woods CIO, is aimed at getting children outside in the fresh air, connecting with nature, making new friends and learning skills. We want to help them be children again, get muddy, build a shelter, climb a tree, make a fire, bake bread, and most importantly have some FUN!

Aspire Higher: A careers networking scheme for 16-25 year old care leavers, providing opportunities to meet and connect with industry leaders. Follow up advice on CV writing, how to use LinkedIn and goal-setting is provided by recruitment specialists Matrix, as well as support on finding apprenticeships, work experience and entry-level jobs from Boost Barnet.

 

*All donations received up to the first £6,000 will be doubled during campaign week

CAMPAIGNS

Our 2020 Give a Dongle campaign provided 33 dongles, 29 mini WiFis, 21 media tablets, 24 sims and two smartphones to isolated care leavers living alone, with no home WiFi and limited data on the phones, helping to connect them to the outside world in lockdown 1.0

Our most recent Christmas Appeal raised enough to buy 250 £25 gift vouchers for the borough’s most vulnerable and lonely care leavers, giving them a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons

IMAGINATION TRUST

We’ve provided items for 263 looked after children and young care leavers, enabling them to access enrichment activity and training opportunities, such as cricket whites and musical instruments, equipment for apprenticeships and gym fees.

DRIVING AHEAD

Our package of 30 hours of driving lessons and the driving test for care leavers, delivered in partnership with the AA, has seen three young people passing first time and is currently supporting nine learner drivers