Decentralised Funding Will Support Care Leavers in Herefordshire Through New Philanthropic Initiative

A toddler enjoying a walk amongst poppies in the sunshine
‘Baby Steps’ to support care leavers and care-experienced young people who are parents and parents-to-be
  • The Care Leaver Programme, supporting young adults leaving care to make the transition to adulthood, is being launched on 18th April at an event hosted by CCLA and UK Community Foundations (UKCF), and where Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the LGA, Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of LAMIT, Mark Riddell MBE, National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers, and and Ben Robinson, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy at UKCF, will speak.
  • The programme is being led and managed by UKCF, the national membership organisation for accredited community foundations. 
  • Herefordshire Community Foundation is one of 17 community foundations from around the country to have been awarded funds which they will match with donations.
  • Herefordshire Community Foundation will work closely with Herefordshire Council as delivery partners to manage programmes in support of care leavers, developing regional connections for future care leaver resourcing.
  • Herefordshire Community Foundation is distributing grants through a range of projects that focus on the gaps of support in Herefordshire, decentralising the national fund to ensure young care leavers are put first.
  • Funding is being offered by LAMIT, a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

Today, a new national programme of support for young care experienced adults has been launched throughout England. Managed by UK Community Foundations, the Care Leavers Programme has a primary focus of improving the life chances of care leavers through decentralised funding into regions around the country. The £3.6 million match fund scheme will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

There were 46,000 care leavers between 17 and 21 years old in England alone in 2022. Each year, young people leaving the care system immediately meet a range of challenges that their peers might not experience. Deficiencies in transitional and practical support mean that care leavers are often less likely to get the help they need to make a fresh start as a young adult. Gaps in support have been found when it comes to relationships and mentoring, education, employment and mental health.

Herefordshire Community Foundation is one of 17 community foundations being announced at the launch event and is working closely with Herefordshire Council to fund community projects supporting care leavers throughout Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Community Foundation will also work with Herefordshire Council to identify support gaps in Herefordshire, collaborating with local organisations to capitalise on their skills and knowledge, and to facilitate a long-lasting, coherent plan of impact for care leavers that can be built on over time.  

The ‘Baby Steps’ project will develop a programme of support that will focus on care leavers and care-experienced young people (18-25 years) who are parents or parents-to-be in Herefordshire.  ‘Baby Steps’ will bring together experienced providers in the local community sector to work alongside Herefordshire Council to provide early intervention tailored to the needs of young care-experienced parents in Herefordshire.

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of LAMIT, says, “We are delighted to be working with both Herefordshire Community Foundation and their partner local authority Herefordshire Council to deliver extra support to young people within the care system that badly need it. This joint fund of £300,000 for three years will provide that little bit of extra support that is vital for young care leavers.

“Nationally, our care system is creaking at the seams despite the best endeavours of dedicated professionals such as social workers and probation officers. We need to find innovative approaches for young people who have left care, in which society can wrap its arm around them in the same way that we as parents and grandparents wrap our arms around the young people in our own family.

“Over the next three years we hope to hold a series of events both nationally and here in Herefordshire to learn from what has been achieved and challenge all partners and potential partners, such as the NHS and the criminal justice system, to work together in a more challenging and holistic way.”

Bridie Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer at Herefordshire Community Foundation says, “We are pleased to work in partnership with Herefordshire Council and local community partners to develop an innovative programme of support for young care-experienced parents in a rural county.  We intend that the ‘Baby Steps’ programme that will enable these parents to have their voices heard, to  become the best parents they can possibly be, and provide their children with the best start in life, as a family”

Councillor Ivan Powell, Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, says: “We are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with our partners to secure this funding for Herefordshire. The ‘Baby Steps’ project will provide a vital programme of support for our care leavers and care experienced young people at an important stage of their lives as they transition into adulthood and are or are about to become parents.’’

Rosemary Macdonald BEM, Chief Executive at UK Community Foundations, says: “Inequalities for care leavers differ from region to region. It is key that we harness the knowledge of local organisations to not just fund fantastic projects for young people leaving the care system, but to nurture those relationships and keep the momentum going to make real change happen. 

“By supporting individual care leavers and supportive organisations in Herefordshire, Herefordshire Community Foundation will be able to use this programme as a way of uniting communities and authorities, to explore local solutions to local issues and use the learning to influence wider support.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association, says: “Councils support thousands of young people who become care leavers every year whether that is finding a home to live in or help into work. Alongside our communities, the LGA is delighted to be able to support this fantastic new initiative which can help to transform care leavers’ lives as they make the transition into adulthood.”

Today’s event, taking place at CCLA’s offices in London, will mark the official launch of the Care Leavers Programme. For funding information, head to the Herefordshire Community Foundation website –

Additional information for editors

In 2021-2022, there were 46,940 care leavers in England. Last year, 38% of care leavers between 19 and 21 years old were not in any form of education, training or employment, and only 14% of care leavers under 19 years old attended higher education compared to 47% of their peers. 45% of 18 year-old care leavers were already living either semi or fully independently. Support for care leavers, House of Comms Library, 2023

Gaps in support for care leavers were identified in New Philanthropy Capital’s 2022 report, Funding the journey from care. Funding the journey from care, report, NPC, 2022

About UK Community Foundations

UK Community Foundations (UKCF) is the membership body for 47 accredited community foundations which cover every postcode of the UK, and four international members in Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and Bermuda. Community foundations are local champions, bringing local bodies together to understand inequalities and find solutions. They use these local insights to inspire place-based philanthropy, transforming private wealth into community resources for both now and the long term.

Each year, the UKCF network collectively invests over £70 million into local groups and organisations that are tackling the biggest issues facing communities. For further information, please visit the UKCF website. To find out more about the Care Leavers Programme, email:

About CCLA

CCLA has a long track-record of instigating change for a better world with its pioneering work on climate, modern slavery, and mental health. Founded in 1958, CCLA is independently owned by its clients in Churches, Charities and Local Authorities and staff with £14.56 billion of assets under management as at 29 February 2024.

CCLA Investment Management Limited (Registered in England & Wales under number 2183088) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Registered address, One Angel Lane, London, EC4R 3AB.


The Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT) is a shareholder of CCLA. The LAMIT Board is appointed by the 4 local government associations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

About Herefordshire Community Foundation

Established with the aim of building stronger communities across the county, Herefordshire Community Foundation (HCF) is an independent, grant-awarding charity that connects local people and businesses who care with causes that matter. Since 2002, HCF has distributed over £7m in grants to worthy causes and individuals, making a real difference to disadvantaged people in Herefordshire.