The ‘Every Child Leaving Care Matters Campaign’ (ECLCMC) began in December 2013 in response to the then Government announcing the (welcome) introduction of Staying Put for foster children enabling them to remain in their foster home until the age of twenty-one. Sadly, there was no equivalent offer for children in residential care and it is this that prompted a group of volunteers to begin the campaign. Space precludes the tracking of the campaign in the intervening years but this can be found on their website eclcm.org or by following them on Twitter (@rescareto21) or Facebook.
Essentially, during Sir Martin Narey’s review of children’s homes in 2016 he engaged with the campaign group and what emerged was a new plan for a newly designed offer to residential care leavers of ‘Staying Close’. Again, details of the ECLCM blueprint for this can be found in their paper CARING TEAMS.
Ben Ashcroft, one of the founder members of the campaign and a care leaver himself, will be undertaking a 300 mile walk from his home town of Halifax to Parliament to further raise awareness of this campaign in general and Staying Close/CARING TEAMS in particular. The walk will culminate in an event in Parliament attended by many MP’s who support the campaign and hopefully others who don’t – yet – campaign supporters and we hope care leavers.
Ben’s schedule is as follows:
- 24th September: Halifax to Littleborough
- 25th September: Littleborough to Manchester MMU
- 26th September: Manchester to Haydock
- 27th September: Haydock to Liverpool
- 28th September: Liverpool to Chester
- 29th September: Chester to Nantwich
- 30th September: Nantwich to Eccleshall
- 3rd October: Eccleshall to Cannock
- 4th October: Cannock to Dordon
- 5th October: Dordon to Lutterworth
- 6th October: Lutterworth to Northampton
- 7th October: Northampton to Milton Keynes
- 8th October: Milton Keynes to Dunstable
- 9th October: Dunstable to St Albans
- 10th October: St Albans
- 11th October – Parliament
We will be following (and supporting) Ben throughout this journey and will continue to help raise awareness of this campaign. Best of luck Ben from all of here at One Stop Social!