A magical community Christmas Day experience for young Teesside care leavers

A magical community Christmas Day experience for young Teesside care leavers hero image

What was needed?

A care leaver is an adult who has spent time living in the care system, away from their family, with a foster home, in a children’s home, in a supported housing service or under another arrangement as agreed by their social worker.

Young people usually leave care when they are 18 years old and whilst they  are provided with accommodation, they often have no support to manage their tenancy, keep track of their bills, and stay in education and employment. At such a young age, it can be a challenge to juggle all these tasks without a safety net if things go wrong.

Many young people leaving care do so without the support of a loving family and the harsh reality for many is they enter adulthood alone. Where most other young people know they can rely on the support of family long after the age of eighteen,  these young care leavers  don’t have a “go to” family member they can ask for help or advice, even on simple things like how to change a plug.

The Christmas Dinner Middlesbrough & Teesside contacted us to help fund their community project, which encourages people to support young care leavers in their community and give them the kind of Christmas Day they deserve.

“The aim is to encourage young care leavers who don’t have anywhere else to go, who don’t have anybody to spend the day with to come along and just have a good day and have a really positive experience,” said Jill Ambrazaitis, who is one of the organisers.

“Unfortunately, too many don’t have positive memories of Christmas and they struggle to relate the day with having a good time,” she said.  “This can create a vicious cycle because you have a situation where if you’ve never had a good Christmas, and you have children of your own one day, how are you going to provide a good Christmas for them if you don’t know what it should look and feel like?”


How we helped...

Tees Foundation has supported The Christmas Dinner Middlesbrough & Teesside for two years; most recently with a grant for room hire and transport costs to and from the venue for those attending.

The day was a huge success and provided these young adults with a really positive experience of what a great Christmas Day can look and feel like, so that they can then go forward and build their own little family traditions in the future.  Take a look at the video to see more.

“We are very grateful and appreciative of the support we have received from The Tees  Foundation over the past two years, thanks again for all your help and support – we couldn’t have done this without you, said Jill.

If you would like to be involved in future Middlesbrough & Teesside Christmas Dinners, please email tedmandt@gmail.com or visit their website  www.tcdmandt.co.uk




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