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START Project nominated for award

St Christopher’s START Project supporting care leavers in South West London has been shortlisted for the Leaving Care Award at the Children & Young People Now Awards, as revealed on Tuesday 28 September.

START provides outreach support to care leavers who have moved on from one of our semi-independent homes and are living independently for the first time. The project helps young people learn how to pay bills, manage tenancies and build life skills. It also means they have a trusted adult in regular contact with them, who they can turn to if they need help.

A young person who is supported by START said: “Throughout my time in the home, the outreach worker discussed the things I should be doing to prepare for leaving semi-independence and moving on to my own place. She always picks up the phone or calls me back and is there to be that shoulder to lean on. She is very good at getting issues within housing resolved and really does play the motherly figure for people when they are struggling with their new steps in life.”

Director of Operations (UK) Phil Townsend said: “I’m so proud that START has been recognised for this award. The team does a brilliant job with the young people; the service has been especially vital during the pandemic to reduce isolation and loneliness for care leavers.”

Congratulations to all the other nominees! St Christopher’s looks forward to seeing you at the ceremony on Thursday 25 November.