Thursday, April 1, 2021

News: Rotherham start-up empowers care-experienced young people


A Rotherham-based organisation working with care-experienced young people is continuing its mission of empowering individuals and facilitating independence after receiving a grant from UKSE.

Established by Charlotte Elliott at the beginning of last year, Affinity 2020 provides individualised support services for those aged 0-25, equipping care-experienced young people with employability skills, arts and leadership experiences and knowledge about their health and wellbeing.

As the recipients of a UKSE kickstart grant, Affinity 2020 has been able to develop their website, drastically improving their key communication platform.

Centred around the goal of empowering individuals and instilling independence, Affinity 2020 is on track to create £1000 worth of cultural leadership opportunities for every care-given young person in Rotherham by 2030.

Through helping to secure equality of opportunity across five key areas – employment, health, education, culture and leadership – Affinity 2020 is playing a crucial role in breaking down barriers faced by care-experienced young people.

Having taken on the role of foster sister in her late teens and early 20s, Charlotte gained first-hand insight into the world of care and, upon approaching 40, decided to take the leap and establish Affinity 2020.

Currently, the organisation is developing a parental pedagogy programme over five Local Authorities, helping ex-care children who are facing problems as new parents by imparting knowledge, skills and understanding, encouraging them to develop of their own parenting styles in a safe space.

Reflecting on the success of Affinity 2020, Charlotte said: “It’s been a great year for us and we’re already seeing the impact of our work, reflected in the personal development and achievements of young people in Rotherham.

“Thanks to the UKSE funding, we’ve been able to build our website, enabling quick and easy communication with those who we help.”

Charlotte added: “Having spent the past decade working in education leadership, I’ve seen first-hand the discrepancies in attainment which affect care-given children. For example, only 7% passed their GCSEs in English and Maths at Level 5 in comparison to 40% nationally.

“Now more so than ever, care-experienced people require support to make sure that they are not further disadvantaged following the pandemic. Creating equality of opportunity is therefore at the centre of everything we do.”

Keith Williams at UKSE commented: “It’s great to see Charlotte’s passion for this incredibly important initiative and I admire the work Affinity 2020 are doing to provide a range of skills and opportunities to those who have been disadvantaged in their early years.”

Affinity 2020 Facebook page
UKSE website

Images: Affinity


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