Care leavers flourish with cucumber tree planting

A promise to help young people leaving care to grow and thrive marked with a tree planting

Councillor Deborah Taylor and Jane Moore plant the tree

A commitment to supporting young people coming out of care has been marked by a tree planting.

A magnolia acuminata tree, otherwise known as a cucumber tree, has found its home outside of the county hall offices, representing Leicestershire County Council’s goals to help their care leavers grow and thrive. The tree - nicknamed a ‘positivitree’  - also acts as a promise to continue developing the support on offer for the future.

A care leaver, someone under the age of 25 who has previously been in the care system, is given a ‘local offer’ of support from the county once they are able to leave care.

The council offers support to 442 care leavers aged 18-25 years, providing young people with a range of help, including a personal advisor, financial advice and support securing housing, employment or pursuing further education.

Leaving care involves a lot of changes for a young person, and we want to make sure we support them, making it a positive and exciting next step in their life.

We are dedicated to working with our partners and wider community to give our care leavers the best head start to their future.

Councillor Deborah Taylor, county council cabinet member for children and families

Dylan, a care leaver who studies at the University of Leicester and also works in the council’s communications and digital team part-time, said: “The care leavers team has supported me as I continue to learn and plan for the future. I'm also involved in the Care Leaver’s panel where I can share my own experience and build on work that the team are planning.

“I'm excited to continue gaining skills, work towards a career and move into my own place.”

Alongside the work the care leavers team do on a day-to-day basis, they are now also developing an ‘After Care Council’, working alongside care leavers to see where the county’s local offer can be improved.

To learn more on support for young people leaving care, visit the care leavers section of the website.

Hear from Dylan on his experience as a care leaver on YouTube.

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