Leeds Care Leaver Service has been proactively exploring strategies to enhance the utilisation of Archway, our Leeds Care Leavers Hub, with a specific emphasis on our Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) community to facilitate their integration into the broader care-experienced community.
Leeds Care Leaver Service has been proactively exploring strategies to enhance the utilisation of Archway, our Leeds Care Leavers Hub, with a specific emphasis on our Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) community to facilitate their integration into the broader care-experienced community. A highly successful football tournament was arranged utilising on existing partner agencies and forging closer future ties, notably with Powerleague, who provided both football facilities and staffing to support the event.
Ensuring that care leavers, especially those from the UASC demographic, were not only aware of the services available in Leeds but also actively engaged with them, contributing to their overall well-being and sense of community.
Leeds Care Leaver Service organised a regional football tournament that brought together participants from all five West Yorkshire care leaver services. The event was designed not only to promote physical activity and social interaction but also to foster a sense of belonging and community among care-experienced young people.
The football tournament delivered a positive impact on multiple levels. It provided an affordable and enjoyable day for approximately 50 care-experienced young individuals. By securing a significant discount for participating local authorities, the event was cost-effective and budget-friendly, costing just £50 per local authority. Our partner agency Surplus to Purpose were able to provide free drinks, snacks and fruit for all who came. Furthermore, the event facilitated the integration of UASC members into the care-experienced community, reducing the risk of social isolation and enhancing their overall well-being.
How is the new approach being sustained?
The success of the football tournament laid the foundation for future activities with partners. Leeds Care Leaver Service is actively working with Powerleague, who would like to continue to offer their facilities and staffing for future events, ensuring continued access to sporting events and community activities. At the event Leeds United foundation were present and also want to help contribute to the success of future events and spinoff initiatives.
Organising community-oriented events can serve as a powerful tool for fostering engagement among care leavers. Also, the importance of partnerships and collaborations, cannot be overstated. It is critical that initiatives like this are affordable, as it maximises participation. Finally, an ongoing commitment to adapt to the evolving needs and preferences of care leavers is important in sustaining their engagement in care leaver services.