Welcome to St Christopher's UK Crowdfunder page.
We would love to invite you to become a St Christopher's fundraiser and support our work as part of our 150th birthday celebrations.
St Christopher's is a charity set up in 1870 to support children and young people who cannot live with their families. We provide children's homes, supported housing, foster homes and specialist outreach services across the UK, all designed to create brighter futures for young people.
To celebrate 150 years of our charity, we want to raise £17,500 to support 30 more young people as they move onto independence. This is called leaving care.
What is leaving care like?
Leaving care is often described by care leavers as like falling off the edge of a cliff. Young people who are sometimes as young as 16 years old have to go from a supportive, encouraging home out into a world where they have to fend for themselves.
They often feel very isolated and can struggle to manage all the responsibilities of adulthood, without a support network to help and encourage them. Unfortunately, homelessness, prison, mental health problems and low self-esteem are all common issues that care leavers have to face, all by themselves.
We would not expect our own children to live independently at such a young age, so why do we expect this of care leavers?
"While one in 144 children have been in care at some point in their lives, one in four homeless people have been in care." The Guardian, 30 September 2019
Care leavers statistically have poorer outcomes than their peers who are not in care - but St Christopher's wants to change this. Young people in care are bright, funny, passionate and have big dreams, just like any other teenager. We believe all young people, regardless of their previous life experiences, deserve the chance to having fulfilling futures where they can achieve their dreams.
What we will do:
We want to help 30 young care leavers learn the skills and resilience that will help them succeed. We are aiming to raise £17,500 to support our work in this area.
And as it's our 150th birthday, we are inviting each of you to raise £150 (or more) towards the overall target.
To fundraise for us, please click the blue ‘Start Fundraising’ button. For guidance on how to make your fundraising page and for fundraising ideas, please click here. The funds you raise will go directly into the St Christopher's charity bank account, so there's no admin required by you.
If you are not able to fundraise, donations towards our cause are also very gratefully received and you can also support us by claiming one of our lovely rewards, which you can see on the right of this page.
Your contributions will help us to commemorate 150 years of brighter futures so that we can do even more for care leavers moving onto independence!
St Christopher's approach
One of our commitments is to inspire lifelong learning and thriving for our young people. Leaving care is not a single event, but is part of a journey to adulthood. Children in care have to live independently aged as young as 16, whereas their friends can stay at home with their families well into their twenties and even thirties.
We work alongside our young people, listening to what they tell us is important for them as they become independent. Then, we tailor life skills sessions to their needs so they can learn to budget, cook, travel around and apply for jobs.
Not only do these achievements give them practical skills, it also grows their self-belief and makes them more emotionally ready for living independently.
Most importantly, we do not cut contact when they leave our care. We stay in touch in ways that suit each individual young person, whether this is through texts and calls, meeting up for a coffee, or a regular spot at Sunday lunch. In a recent survey, staff were in touch with 100% of young people who left our children's homes or supported accommodation in the last six months.
Our life skills programme
With your help, we aim to raise £17,500 to equip 30 more care leavers in the UK with the practical and emotional skills needed to successfully step into life outside of care. Each care leaver’s journey is as unique as they are, so we tailor our approach with every young person to help with the areas that are important to them.
The activities we will deliver include:
- Employability skills
- Access to education skills sessions
- Assertiveness and resilience training sessions
- Cooking sessions
- Budgeting and financial management
- Delivering AQAs
How YOUR fundraising or donations could benefit our young people:
£15 could buy books for a young person, enabling them to work towards their future by helping with college costs.
£46 could pay for a weekly travel card to help a young person to travel to college or a new job.
£60 could pay for AQA accreditation for three young people. Accreditations can be obtained in CV writing, cooking skills, travelling independently and budgeting.
"When my social worker told me I had to get ready to leave my children’s home I did not feel ready. I was only 16 and I didn’t know how to live on my own. But Life Skills helped me prepare and get ready. Staff showed me how to cook and helped me open a bank account and budget. I’m not going to lie I still find this hard but I know how to cut costs, save and make sure I keep paying my rent." Damien, young person at St Christopher’s
“I don’t know where I would be without them (the weekly sessions we spend working on life skills in terms of resilience and interpersonal skills). I have not taken college as seriously as I should have and St Christopher's have helped me with not giving up, helping me believe I can still get the work done, and now I have and I have passed. I don’t know where I would be or what I would have been doing if it hadn’t been for St Christopher's giving me hope and keeping me going.” Young person at St Christopher’s
With YOUR HELP we can support 30 more young people with their transition as they leave care and help them go on towards a bright future.
Please click the 'Start fundraising' button now to create your fundraising page, or alternatively we are very grateful for any donation you can make.