Megan and I are care leavers and we are trying to create a Christmas for other care leavers who will be spending Christmas alone. Nobody deserves to feel alone at Christmas! In 2016 we both attended the Oxfordshire Care Leavers Christmas – which some of you may remember. Lemn Sissay has been amazing at setting these up around the country with the help of volunteers. Although neither of us planned to attend the event last year, we found out that Christmas had been cancelled due to a lack of volunteers. So with only 6 weeks left until Christmas we decided to organise something ourselves. Due to the generosity of our community we managed to host a truly magical day for the guests. This year we were hoping that someone take the lead (Áine is fostering, writing up her PhD thesis, sitting on foster panels, and working. And Megan has a gorgeous newborn and 6 year old) but despite our efforts to find someone to take charge we have been unsuccessful. We cannot allow the event to be cancelled again so despite our limited availability we are going to host another Christmas for 2018.
Megan and I feel that Christmas for care leavers is so, so important and should be on the same day as everybody else! Events on other days are just like Christmas parties. When Christmas comes everything closes, all of your friends are busy with their families, and as a care leaver you can end up sitting at home alone dwelling on the fact that you either don’t have a family, your family didn’t want you, or your family couldn’t care for you. It can feel like the whole world is rubbing it in that you are not loved, not cared about, and sometimes not wanted. This is why it is so important that these events go ahead on Christmas day, just like everyone else.
So, we are hoping to raise money again to cover all of the costs of hosting a magical Christmas. Money will go towards decorations, food, and gifts for up to 50 guests.
We honestly can't thank everyone enough for helping us to reach our goal last year, we hope that you will be able to support us again this year!
Áine and Megan xxx