Release date: 27 October 2020
Finishing a teaching qualification and holding down a job during the COVID-19 pandemic would be a challenge for most young people.
But West Sussex care leaver Courtney, 23, took it all in her stride.
Supporting herself through university by working at a fish and chip shop, Butlin’s in Bognor Regis and a pharmacy, she has now qualified and landed her first teaching job.
Courtney has chosen to share her story as part of national Care Leavers Week 2020 (26 October – 1 November) to inspire other young people in care.
Another young care leaver, Charlie, 19, is also achieving great things.
He has finished his Level 3 Farming Qualification at Brinsbury Agricultural College and very quickly found a full time farming job.
As well as working on the farm, Charlie has found time during lockdown to complete a number of projects in his foster parent’s garden including laying a new shed base.
Idris, 20, came to the UK as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC).
Despite his challenging start, he has now gained a place at a university in London and has been awarded the unite scholarship in recognition of his dedication to his studies.
Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The considerable achievements of all of our care leavers is something the whole council is immensely proud of. Their incredible resilience, especially throughout this difficult year, and their determination to achieve their dreams is a real inspiration to all young people, particularly those currently in care, and is proof that a difficult start doesn’t define what you do in life.”
West Sussex County Council recently launched The Promise 2020 – a commitment to supporting West Sussex care leavers and children in care to achieve and exceed their ambitions – and has just refreshed its Leaving Care Local Offer which sets out the support young people leaving care can receive.