Leeds social group for care leavers gets a new home in Holbeck

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A social group that supports young people as they leave the care system has found a new home.

The care leavers’ social group is now based at The Holbeck, a bar and development space that also houses Britain’s oldest social club. The group was launched five years ago by two social work personal advisors, who were quickly joined by Libby Tinworth, from Health for all Leeds.

The workers use gardening, arts and events, discussion groups, visits and trips to tackle loneliness and isolation among young people who have grown up with no formal family support bond. The group offers teenagers a chance to develop friendships and express themselves in a way they feel comfortable. The group also eats together and can get advice on housing, benefits, healthy relationships, online safety and domestic violence.

Dave Kelly, one of the social work personal advisors who set up the group, said: “This focused piece of work is just one small contribution to the Child Friendly Leeds vision in terms of activities and support currently going on. We want our attendees to be proud of their city, who they are and achieve their full potential – Leeds is a fantastic city and a great place to grow up. Sadly not everyone gets the best start in life and we are making sure that our children get a leg up in terms of opportunities and experiences that most other families enjoy.”

Group member Mel said: “It’s our chance to check in with each other and share experiences - life’s hard enough without us having to go through it alone.”

If you can offer support or equipment for the group, email David.kelly@leeds.gov.uk