We are a small organization trying to support those experiencing difficulties: Whilst our remit will eventually be much wider, we are initially focused on the support of care leavers and this will remain so for the foreseeable future (until our resources and infrastructure grow). Care leavers are children as young as 16, who leave local authority care (such as foster care, children homes or supported accommodation). These children often leave will little to no support, and experience great difficulty: BBC Newsnight has recently been running a care series on the plight of this forgotten group of young people: They have filmed dangerous accommodation, no support, and chronic exploitation. The reality is pretty desperate.
The Foundation is led by a group of six trustees (all with professional backgrounds in education, social care, and health). Sadly our experience has demonstrated some young people end up totally alone, hold mistrust of others and have little access to support. This sounds extreme in today’s society but is a reality for a significant cohort of our youth. Care leavers, some as young as 16 years old, left to fund their food, clothing, rent and all other needs on just over £57 a week. It is an almost impossible task. The Fevaca Foundation is set up to support this kind of scenario and we created a number of projects which could enable vulnerable individuals to access grant funding or gifts which can help them survive a crisis, access education/ work or gain some self esteem and positive support.
We are currently just a charitable company awaiting registration with the charity commission. Our application is in but we don’t have a timescale for their response currently, I hope this will not prove to be a restrictive issue, and I can update you as soon as we have communication from the commissioner.
CURRENT WORK TO DATE
The Fevaca Foundation has been running for less than two years. So far, we have been responsive to the needs of young people asking for help: For example, we have funded a passport application to be used as identification to open a bank account and gain accommodation. We have also rolled out two larger projects both focused on care leavers. The first, an emergency food parcel project targeted at young people who have literally run out of food (and other basics such as toiletries and cleaning supplies) and have no other way of getting support. The second project was a Christmas hamper delivery which again targeted care leavers and enabled 16-25 year olds to have a small Christmas gift and some foodstuffs for Christmas day. When there is never any money left at the end of the week, Christmas and other holidays, can be a particularly difficult time for children leaving care.
We are based in Bury St. Edmunds but this is simply an office space, and we have supported young people in Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and further afield. We have built a system of contacts within the local authority and each locality which enables us to access young people on the ground who desperately need our support
We currently have only a few volunteers and no paid staff. We are eager to draw in any support we can to develop the work we do so that we can have a significant direct impact on young people.