Today, a new national programme of support for young care experienced adults has been launched throughout England. Managed by UK Community Foundations, the Care Leavers Programme has a primary focus of improving the life chances of care leavers through decentralised funding into regions around the country. The £3.6 million match fund scheme will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

There were 46,000 care leavers between 17 and 21 years old in England alone in 2022. Each year, young people leaving the care system immediately meet a range of challenges that their peers might not experience. Deficiencies in transitional and practical support mean that care leavers are often less likely to get the help they need to make a fresh start as a young adult. Gaps in support have been found when it comes to relationships and mentoring, education, employment and mental health.  

Heart of England Community Foundation is one of 17 community foundations being announced at the launch event and is working closely with St Basils Charity – based in Birmingham, who are working throughout the West Midlands.

Heart of England Community Foundation will also work with St Basils across the West Midlands to capitalise on their skills, experience and knowledge, to identify support gaps, and to facilitate a long-lasting, coherent plan of impact for care leavers that can be built on over time.

The initial three year programe will include activities to support care leavers to strengthen their skills and training, opening employability routes as well as tackling destitution, homelessness, providing access to essential items including food, sanitary products and other emergency costs support. 

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of LAMIT, says, “We are delighted to be working with both Heart of England Community Foundation and their regional local authority partners to deliver extra support to young people within the care system that badly need it. This joint fund of £150,000 for three years will provide that little bit of extra support that is vital for young care leavers.

“Nationally, our care system is creaking at the seams despite the best endeavours of dedicated professionals such as social workers and probation officers. We need to find innovative approaches for young people who have left care, in which society can wrap its arm around them in the same way that we as parents and grandparents wrap our arms around the young people in our own family.

“Over the next three years we hope to hold a series of events both nationally and here in the West Midlands to learn from what has been achieved and challenge all partners and potential partners, such as the NHS and the criminal justice system, to work together in a more challenging and holistic way.”

Rosemary Macdonald BEM, Chief Executive at UK Community Foundations, says: “Inequalities for care leavers differ from region to region, and this true for those living in the West Midlands. It is key that we harness the knowledge of local organisations to not just fund fantastic projects for young people leaving the care system, but to nurture those relationships and keep the momentum going to make real change happen. By supporting individual care leavers working with St Basils in the West Midlands, Heart of England Community Foundation will be able to use this programme as a way of uniting communities and authorities, to explore local solutions to local issues and use the learning to influence wider support.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association, says: “Councils support thousands of young people who become care leavers every year whether that is finding a home to live in or help into work. Alongside our communities, the LGA is delighted to be able to support this fantastic new initiative which can help to transform care leavers’ lives as they make the transition into adulthood.”

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation said: “Care leavers are often faced with challenges that impact on their ability to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Therefore, I am so happy to be partnering with St Basils to deliver a range of initiatives to support care leavers across our region. The Foundation is using its own funds to match fund the CCLA Care Leavers Scheme and I truly hope to see positive outcomes for the young care leavers engaged through the programme.

Today’s event, taking place at CCLA’s offices in London, will mark the official launch of the Care Leavers Programme. 

About UK Community Foundations

UK Community Foundations (UKCF) is the membership body for 47 accredited community foundations which cover every postcode of the UK, and four international members in Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and Bermuda. Community foundations are local champions, bringing local bodies together to understand inequalities and find solutions. They use these local insights to inspire place-based philanthropy, transforming private wealth into community resources for both now and the long term. Each year, the UKCF network collectively invests over £170 million into local groups and organisations that are tackling the biggest issues facing communities. For further information, please visit the UKCF website. To find out more about the Care Leavers Programme, email:

About CCLA

CCLA has a long track-record of instigating change for a better world with its pioneering work on climate, modern slavery, and mental health. Founded in 1958, CCLA is independently owned by its clients in Churches, Charities and Local Authorities and staff with £14.56 billion of assets under management as at 29 February 2024. CCLA Investment Management Limited (Registered in England & Wales under number 2183088) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Registered address, One Angel Lane, London, EC4R 3AB.


The Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT) is a shareholder of CCLA. The LAMIT Board is appointed by the 4 local government associations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

About Heart of England Community Foundation

Heart of England Community Foundation is a registered charity and the leading, independent grant making foundation in the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Since 1995, we have proudly awarded over £35 million to over 7,000 great causes across the region. We believe in a fairer, happier and healthier Midlands – where everyone has equal access to opportunities, experiences genuine wellbeing, and enjoys a healthy and active life as part of their community. We nurture philanthropy, connecting people who care, with incredible causes that matter. We help to unlock the resources to tackle local issues and to support people and communities to thrive across the region. 

Registered Address: Heart of England Community Foundation, c/o Stellantis, Pinley House, 2 Sunbeam Way, Coventry, CV3 1ND. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England & Wales Company Number: 05999452. Registered Charity Number: 1117345. 

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Press contacts


Damilola Bamidele – Head of Programmes / +44 (0)207 841 4379

Heart of England Community Foundation

Ryan Boyce – 


Miranda Barham – / +44 (0)7899 030304

Tess Harris – / +44 (0)7841 577820