Campaign training - always better with cake

Posted by Rhea Stevens / Monday 20 January 2014 / Chance to stay Participation Children in care

This Saturday young people who are members of our Chance to Stay – Cyfle i Aros campaign came together in Swansea for a day of campaign planning and training. There was cake, campaigning and even a Commissioner.

Keith Towler, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, heard about the young people involved in Chance to Stay - Cyfle i Aros and invited them to come and chat to him about their work and use his offices for our planning session. It was Keith’s birthday earlier that week, so our meeting got off to a great start with birthday cake and a song!

The young people then explained the work they’d done over the past few months and just how far the campaign had come. They spoke about their achievements, including media work  and writing to and meeting Assembly Members .

They also spoke about some of their frustrations, including an instance of an Assembly Member who hadn’t replied to letters or feeling that whilst people had listened, they did not fully understand what life is like for young people in care. Their big frustration is one that anyone who has campaigned for change knows well - the feeling of uncertainty about whether or not the right change will happen, and happen soon enough.

Keith listened to the young people’s experiences and offered advice and support. He also spoke about the importance of people respecting young people and children, and offered to raise some of the young people’s issues directly on their behalf.   

After our meeting with Keith the group got on with planning and preparing for our next steps. Tomorrow our young people are going to the National Assembly for Wales, and have invited Assembly Members to come along and be interviewed about the age of leaving home.

We’re really excited to hear that the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM, is planning to come. This will be the young people’s first chance to speak face-to-face with the person in charge of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill, the piece of law we’re trying to change.

Recent announcements from governments in England and Scotland have been clear that they’re committed to giving young people the right to stay with their foster carers until they’re 21, and they’ve allocated money to make sure that this change happens in practice.

We really hope the Welsh Government will make sure young people in Wales have the same chances as young people in other parts of the UK, by changing the law and providing the funding to make it a reality.

Help give young people in foster care the best start in life. Ask your Assembly Members to support Chance to Stay.

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