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You have rights and we want you to know them.
Whether you are wondering about your rights to finances, housing, education or your right to access your care records, you can find all of that information and more in the page below.
In addition to that we have collated some essential go-to organisations that are here for you to access in your own time, whenever you need.
Care Leavers Local Offer
Provided by your Local Authority - they should provide you with a whole host of information on what is on offer to support you. This not only includes information about accommodation, education and your health but also details financial support available to you as you prepare to leave care. Did you know that the financial support they give you depends on your age, when you were in care and for how long?
Cannot find you Local Offer? No worries, contact us and we will help you find it.
CORAM VOICE is the leading national charity representing children and young people in or leaving care. Their aim is to ensure that children and young people are listened to and involved. They can offer advice on all of your rights and entitlements. Plus they offer opportunities for you to get involved. Click here for more information.
BECOME is another national charity dedicated to children in care and young care leavers. As well as providing an advice line they have a FREE Life Coaching programme available.
You can also download factsheets on money, accommodation, Pathway Plans, who's who in the care systems, education & rights. Click the logo to find out more.
No matter what people say it is 100% normal to have questions, feel unsure, depressed, angry or even frightened about the feelings you may have about your gender and/or sexuality. Does it help to know that you are not the first and you will not be the last person to experience these feelings? That is why there is tonnes of support out there and available for you to access. Both locally and nationally. The LGBT Foundation is a great place to start.
Other sources of support can be found at:
TransLiving International - www.transliving.co.uk
Gendered Intelligence - http://genderedintelligence.co.uk/
Beaumont Society: 01582412220
Positive mental health really matters, like, REALLY MATTERS. That's why at NEST we want to ensure you have everything you need to keep you your best self. Leaving care can be a challenging and daunting experience. If you are living on your own for the first time, that in itself can be a difficult thing to learn - being comfortable with your own company. One way of doing that is by learning about meditation, 'Headspace' is a great place to start if you've never tried it before. Not only is meditation a good way to relax but it is considered to be one of the best ways we can tackle depression and anxiety.
If you are already familiar with local mental health services then maybe creating your own Wellbeing Passport could be beneficial for you. Created by MIND Lancashire, "The Wellbeing Passport and card are tools for young people and their supporters to help them to share information about their mental health and emotional wellbeing. It's something that can be used in many situations and settings, where it's important for young people to feel confident to tell their story".
Other good avenues of support can also be found by clicking the links below. However if you are reading this and you feel that you can not keep yourself safe from harm then we urge you to call someone for help immediately, including emergency services 999 if you need to.
Harmless - http://www.harmless.org.uk/
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) - https://www.thecalmzone.net/
Mind - www.mind.org.uk
Young Minds – www.youngminds.org.uk
Anxiety UK – www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Samaritans – www.samaritans.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness - www.rethink.org
We don't expect that you will listen to us when we say DO NOT TAKE DRUGS. It is likely that at some point throughout your life you may come in to contact with them. Whether you choose to drink alcohol or smoke tobacoo; spend time with people taking illegal drugs or thinking about taking them yourselves. We urge you to wise yourselves up on the effects and the consequences. Drugs are dangerous and can be deadly so be smart and know your stuff.
Frank - www.talktofrank.com
Drugwise - www.drugwise.org.uk
NHS Smoking Helpline - www.smokefree.nhs.uk
Drinkaware - www.drinkaware.co.uk
Supportline - www.supportline.org.uk/problems/drugs/
BROOK is an organisation offering a wealth of advice and information to ensure Young People can have positive & healthy relationships. Whether you are looking for information on contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infection's, pregnancy or abuse in relationships you can find it there.
The NHS is another good resource for information on sexually transmitted infections
One of the most important things there is to know when it comes to physical contact with another person is that you MUST gain consent, and no means NO. No one has a right to touch you without your consent or continue if you change your mind.
If you feel that you have been affected by rape or sexual assault you can talk to someone about it or seek advice on the web. Lancashire Care NHS Trust has a text and helpline open 24 hours a day 365 days a year:
08009154640 or text 'HELLO' to 07860022846
Or for more information go to www.supportline.org.uk/problems/rape-and-sexual-assault/
Do you know what classifies as Domestic Violence? Stalking? Or harrassment? Would you know if you were in an abusive relationship? Women's Aid have put together a short questionaire to help people determine if their relationship is just that.
Whatever your age, gender or sexuality, anyone can find themselves in an abusive relationship.
For info about stalking and harassment click here:
Have you heard of the term 'County Lines'? It refers to organised illegal drug dealing networks usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number or 'deal line'. Criminals sometimes target vulnerable young people to recruit them to do work for them. Via a process of grooming and something called 'cuckooing', before someone knows it their home can be taken over and used as a base to deal drugs from.
The Children's Society have both information and services available in the North West, or to report any concerns you have you can visit Crimestoppers or Fearless a site where you can access non-judgemental information and advice about crime and criminality .
Support Line have information on a wide variety of issues and offer confidential emotional support. They can help you to develop "healthy, positive coping strategies, an inner feeling of strength and increased self esteem to encourage healing, recovery and moving forward with life." We've picked out a few subjects below that you might find helpful, click on their name to access the website for much more.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/coronavirus-covid-19/
Child Abuse/Young People Abuse: www.supportline.org.uk/problems/child-abuse/
Forced Marriages: https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/forced-marriages/
Spirituality / Self Belief: https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/the-power-to-change/
Nest Lancashire has been set up to support young people aged 8 to 18 who have been affected by crime or subjected to bullying, threats or harassment. To the right is a list of support that they can offer.
Group sessions with other young people
Access to sport and other social activities
Help to build your confidence
Help to ensure you feel safe and secure again
Support in reporting the crime if you would like to do so
Information about your rights as a victim of crime
Support you throughout the process if your case goes to court
For more information about Bullying including Online Issues you can access:
National Bullying Helpline - www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk
The Cybersmile Foundation - www.cybersmile.org/who-we-are
Anti-Bullying Alliance - www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/tools-information/if-youre-being-bullied/find-help-and-support
There's SO MUCH we could put here but instead we'll just leave some really useful links!
Lancashire County Council's YOUTH ZONE has information on everything from leaving school to getting a job.
PROPEL is a fully searchable website for care leavers providing information on the support available to you at colleges and universities across the UK.
Female Genital Mutiliation (FGM) is ILLEGAL and is a form of abuse. FGM can happen at anytime in a girl or woman's life.
Visit NSPCC for more information. If you are worried for yourself or someone else's safety you can call their national helpline on 08000283550.
Karma Nirvana is a national charity that provide a helpline for those vulnerable to honour-based abuse and forced marriage.
If you want to speak to someone about your experience call 0800599947.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER CALL 999.
Jobs, Education and Training
Spirituality / Self Belief:
Humanists UK - https://humanism.org.uk/