THURROCK-based charity Open Door is set to consolidate its successful pilot project supporting young care leavers in Essex after securing a £75,000 grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation.
The Social Isolation Project (SIP) was piloted last year through a £14,914 grant from the Foundation. After proving its success in helping care leavers build social networks, develop independent living skills and progress into further education, volunteering or employment, Open Door was awarded the new grant to expand and sustain the project over the next three years.
SIP provides formal and informal opportunities to equip care leavers with the tools to prepare healthy meals, budget, stay safe, sustain tenancies and build local friendships.
Such opportunities are especially important because many care leavers Open Door works with were placed outside the local borough whilst in care, meaning that upon their return they lacked support networks. With loneliness contributing to poor mental health, combined with the higher risks of homelessness, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, academic exclusion and criminal activity that care leavers face, Open Door’s Social Isolation Project is essential in offering young people in Thurrock a solid foundation.
Mike Kelly, Chief Executive, Open Door said: “Open Door is very grateful for this grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation, which will enable us to continue delivering this important project and work with more care leavers, helping them develop their independent living skills as well as making new friends. Many of the care leavers we have worked with have told us how important the project has been to them and of the positive difference it has made to their lives. This grant will also help us reach out and support those care leavers who are socially isolated and lack the confidence to join the support groups.”
Paul Streets, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation said: “As our latest research has shown, there is a quiet crisis facing local authorities. Ever-tighter budgets mean vulnerable people have to rely on the support of local charities like Open Door. They’re not just a ‘nice to have’ – their work makes a vital difference, day in, day out to care leavers’ lives. We’re proud to partner with Open Door as part of Lloyds Banking Group’s plan to Help Britain Prosper, supporting the costs of their work, strengthening them, and helping raise their voice among the policy-makers and decision-makers their future depends on.”
Open Door is one of five charities in the East of England supported in Lloyds Bank Foundation’s latest funding round, which awarded £374,539 across the region, tackling issues such as homelessness, mental health and support for asylum seekers and refugees.
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales partners with small and local charities helping people overcome complex social issues such as mental health, homelessness and domestic abuse. With the Foundation’s support, small charities like Open Door who are often underfunded, under pressure and too often ignored, are able to make life-changing impact where others can’t.