Care leavers in Leeds are to be trained as mentors for other young people as part of a project to tackle loneliness.
South Leeds-based Health for All, is set to extend its Care and Beyond project, after being awarded £79,000 from a fund tackling youth loneliness.
The charity hopes to reach 120 people aged between 14 and 17 to ensure they have improved access to social opportunities through provision of warm, welcoming accessible weekly groups in south and east Leeds.
Health for All chief executive Pat McGeever, said the funding would enable it to “explore and address” the loneliness experienced by care leavers in the city.
“To begin, we plan to recruit a team of older members of one of our existing groups, training them in research skills,” Ms McGreever said. “They will consult with target beneficiaries to gather their ideas, aspirations and suggestions as to what would help reduce their loneliness. We have already gathered some project ideas including expansion of our new care leavers cafe, new groups for young care experienced people at school in addition to a new care leavers website and dedicated media hub.”
The funding was awarded from the £2m youth strand of the Building Connections Fund, a partnership between government and the Co-op Foundation. In total, 22 organisations supporting young people in deprived areas of England received funding.
Loneliness Minister Mims Davies, said: “There is no one cause of loneliness and therefore no one solution. That is why we are working alongside a broad range of businesses, voluntary organisations and local councils to nsure that those who feel alone are best supported.”