BUSINESS: Dorset Chamber reaches out to young people in care


Dorset Chamber introduced its new fund to transform the life chances of young people in care at the Chamber’s 70th anniversary ball.

‘Dorset Chamber Life Skills’ is the ‘crowning initiative’ of ideas set to mark the Chamber’s 70th anniversary.

The fund raises money to provide life and employability skills for young people in care and care leavers between 13 and 25.

More than £4,000 was raised at the ball, which was hosted at the Cumberland Hotel in Bournemouth.

Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “We worked really hard to find a gap where genuine support is really needed.

“Statistics show that young people in care and care leavers are often disadvantaged and their life chances are significantly worse than for young people in general.

“This includes statistics for criminal offences, school exclusions, university attendance, unemployment, training, homelessness and teenage pregnancy.

“Our fund aims to provide vital life skills and employability support to improve the life chances of these young people.

“We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous support when we launched the fund at our ball and encourage other businesses to throw their weight behind the initiative too.”

What does the scheme do?

The scheme will work closely with local authorities and the Dorset Community Foundation to distribute the money.

All training will be delivered by community and voluntary organisations; it will target the gaps in current provision.

Some of the training includes:

  • Life skills
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer business mentoring
  • Self-esteem and functional skills training

Dorset Chamber statistics show a 27 per cent rise in the number of children and young people in care in the county, up to 485.

Businesses are being urged to make donations and offer support in other ways such as through work experience, mentoring and training.

If you want to help the fund email Sarah Milton.


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