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National Care Leavers week: Celebrating the achievements of those who’ve left care
Wednesday 24th October, 2012

Thirty young people will take part in a balloon release in Wigan today (Wednesday 24th October) to mark the start of National Care Leavers week.

The annual event aims to raise awareness of the challenges those leaving care face. Thirty young people from Wigan Borough who have recently left care will each release a balloon.

Youngsters face significant challenges when they leave care and today’s events are designed to recognise the achievements of those who have gone through the process. Of the 30 young people attending today, many have gone onto study at university or college or entered full-time employment – this despite the difficulties leaving the care system can create. All the young people now live independent lives.

They will be given a tour of Wigan Life Centres and shown the facilities on offer. They will then have a lunch attended by senior council staff before the balloon release. Attached to the balloons will be luggage tags, on which the young people will write about their dreams and aspirations.

Anne Goldsmith, Wigan Council’s service director for specialist and targeted services, says: “We want to recognise and raise awareness of the remarkable achievements of young people who have left care in Wigan Borough.

“Leaving care presents many challenges and difficulties for young people. Living independently can be a massive change for them. We try to support care leavers as best we can. I’m pleased so many of those who have left care in Wigan have gone onto university, college and employment and live happy and productive lives. I’m looking forward to marking their achievements.”

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