Called ‘We’ve Got You’, the initiative will help young people aged 16 to 25 in Birmingham who are care experienced, currently homeless or at risk of homelessness. The project is supported by the Care Leaver Covenant; St Basils; Birmingham City Council, and Birmingham Children’s Trust.
Lovell Partnerships’ vision and ambition for We’ve Got You was unveiled at an event held yesterday (Tuesday, November 7th) during Birmingham City Council’s Cost of Living Week. Dozens of industry leaders gathered at The STEAMhouse, to hear about the challenges that care experienced and homeless young people face, and how industries can come together to support them.
With around 80,000 children in care in England and one in four young homeless person having previously been in care*, We’ve Got You aims to open doors for young people. Referrals will be made by partners and support includes a Lovell mentor helping identify training needs as well as advice on job hunting and interview skills.
Lovell will also match up suitable job opportunities within their construction projects, in areas like architecture, engineering, law, and more. The long-term aim for these young people is to find homes for them to live in built by Lovell.
A new fund has also been set up by Lovell, which will be managed by St Basils, to help young people buy things such as furniture or paying the bills. Lovell is making a £20k donation into to this fund to start things off and is looking to grow this pot in the months to come.
The programme’s name and branding were created in collaboration with young apprentices from Birmingham Children’s Trust.
Simon Wingate, Midlands Regional Partnerships Director at Lovell, said: “We are passionate about creating a difference within the communities in which we work and We’ve Got You represents our commitment to helping young people find their path to training, employment and homes.
“With increased investment in new housing and green jobs together with our experience in delivering housing schemes and major regeneration projects, we can provide a route to help young people, particularly those who have faced adversity in their lives. We’ve had great support from our partners and our door is open for more businesses to join us and become part of our Universal Family. Together, we can have even more impact and make a greater difference.”
Birmingham City Council is the first local authority to support We’ve Got You. Dedicated help will be provided to a few young people initially with the ambition to grow and roll it out across other local areas.
Birmingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Sharon Thompson, said: “We’ve Got You is a key programme to empower and support our young people who are leaving care and those experiencing homelessness into employment and stable housing. Without which it is incredibly difficult to unlock their full potential and build a successful future. These resilient individuals, of which I was one, despite facing early adversities possess untapped potential that, with the right support, can flourish and contribute significantly to our communities and society positively.
“By working together and championing a holistic approach that combines education, mentorship, employment, and secure housing, we can empower our young people to break through barriers and realise their full potential. In partnership, and with compassion and determination, we can create a society where every individual, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to flourish and contribute meaningfully.”
Jean Templeton, Chief Executive of St Basils, said: “Jobs and homes are incredibly important protective factors and for young people who have experienced homelessness or don’t have access to family support, it is important that we work together to provide the opportunities and support they need to enable them to use their talents and skills and find that route into employment, underpinned by a safe, affordable home.
“Young people tell us that ’feeling safe and cared about’ is really important in building their confidence to take up opportunities. We are proud to work with Lovell and partners to show young people that in this offer, We’ve Got You.”
Andy Couldrick, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Trust, said: “Whatever we do to support young people in and leaving our care, we should ask ourselves ‘would this be good enough for my child?’
“Sadly we know young people with care experience face disadvantage and exclusion so Birmingham Children’s Trust is delighted to be partners in the ‘We’ve Got You’ programme, as it will create new opportunities and will help to level up their life chances through new pathways to jobs and homes.”
Matthew Gordon, CEO of social impact agency Spectra which delivers the government’s Care Leaver Covenant programme, said: “Care leavers face multiple challenges as they transition to independent living as adults. But – as our recent Wanted campaign showed – they are often more adaptable, more reliable and more resilient than the average job candidate.
“Over 2,500 opportunities have already been taken up by our young people through the Covenant. We are delighted to be working with Lovell on this innovative programme which will help secure safe homes, training and good jobs. Together, We’ve Got You.”