Every year, 10,000 16-18 year olds leave care in the UK.
Most are thrust into the adult world before they are ready, facing a life without the support that so many of us take for granted. They are at risk of falling into debt, becoming mentally or physically ill, vulnerable and discriminated against as they leave care. And yet, society continues to ignore our most disadvantaged young people.
While some lack a positive adult role model, others are struggling to find their path in life. Most just need someone to talk to; someone they can trust.
What they need is a bit of extra support. Support our Grandmentors want to provide.
Grandmentors are all volunteers over the age of 50, recruited and trained by Volunteering Matters, to use their wisdom, their energy and their experience to help these care-leavers build a brighter future.
Kai Anderson (20) is just one of many care-leavers who faced a challenging and disrupted childhood.
Mental health, drugs, homelessness, poor education it was self-destruct mode and I couldn't see myself coming out of it. A lot of professionals I was working with kind of gave up on me."
Five months after meeting his Grandmentor, Honor (54), he is transformed.
He's become calmer, he worries less about things, and he has more confidence. It's a supportive relationship, but it's about helping him to achieve his goals himself."
Help us provide a sense of community and hope to those who need it most
We currently have eight Grandmentors projects running across the country and have matched 500 young people. This is not enough. For instance, did you know that half of men aged 16 - 21 years old, and two thirds of young women the same age, who enter the criminal justice system have recently been in statutory care?
The challenges these young people face are complex, but there is one simple truth; young care-leavers are struggling and Grandmentors can help.
We work in partnership with Local Authorities to provide support via Grandmentors. However, for every young care leaver we support, we need to raise £1,000 in voluntary donations.
Donate today and help us open the door to brighter opportunities and better outcomes for vulnerable young care-leavers.