Care Leaver Programme secures key funding from Matrix

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Matrix funds new course helping young people transition out of childcare

Matrix is providing funding for a new adult education course aimed at helping young people successfully transition out of the childcare system. Certified as City and Guilds Level 5, the Young Adults Skills Development Care Leavers’ Programme has been launched by business performance consultancy Ayming, in partnership with the London Borough of Islington and The Arsenal Foundation, the charitable arm of Arsenal Football Club. 

The aim of the course is to develop inter-personal skills, workplace knowledge and wellbeing among care leavers, who frequently struggle with education, mental health, unemployment, crime and homelessness. Researchers from the Universities of York, Oxford and Exeter recently showed that almost a third of care leavers, for example, were not working or studying compared to just 2.4% of comparable young people with no experience the social care system. Furthermore, 25% of the UK’s homeless population are estimated to have been in care.

Matrix CEO, Mark Inskip summarises by outlining the importance of social value for the company, “This partnership with Ayming is one of many social value initiatives that we are proud to be leading.   It is central to our core purpose of “connecting people to work” and working proactively with communities and under-represented groups to extend and broaden the reach of our positive social impact.”

Equipping care leavers with the skills to gain employment and live a more independent life will also benefit the UK economy. It’s estimated that if 1,000 young people leaving care were helped into work, it could generate up to £15 million in benefits savings over their lifetime, according to research by the Centre for Social Justice.

Matrix has committed to a rolling funding cycle to the 12-week course, which will take two care-leaver groups a year. “We are committed to supporting and improving young people’s life chances as they leave the care system,” said the company’s London and Services Business Director, Julian Panter. “This new programme, created and delivered in partnership with Ayming’s People Performance and Development practice, brings our ambitions in this area to life.”

Commenting on setting up the programme, Scott Ward, Partner, People Performance and Development at Ayming, said: “We are delighted to be working within such a vital area to support these young adults in achieving their life ambitions irrespective of the challenges been presented to them. Our whole intention as a people-led organisation is to unlock human potential. With the support of Matrix and working with wonderful people at Islington Local Authority, we are able to accelerate even faster to support, grow and guide these individuals towards their ambitions of breaking the glass ceiling of social expectation.”

Ward speaks from experience, having had to adjust to life outside the professional sports ‘bubble’ after his burgeoning football career as a goalkeeper ended prematurely. Fellow former athlete and England netball captain Serena Guthrie MBE is also leading the initiative with Ward. 

“Led by phenomenal individuals Serena and Scott, the programme’s participant-centred approach will help young people leaving the care system develop their personal skills, as well as reset their views and expectations of what it means for them to be successful,” said Matthew Blood, Virtual School Head for Children with a Social Worker and London Borough of Islington.

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