POSTCARDS are being sent to children in care to remind them that they’re not alone during the coronavirus lockdown.
Cards From Care have been devised by Leicester Young People’s Council and a group called the Care Experienced Consultants, which is made up of children and young people who have experience of being in care.
The postcards – which are also being promoted on social media – are going out to foster families, children’s homes and care leavers. They feature positive messages and ideas for getting through the lockdown such as: “Speak to your friends over the phone,” “focus on what you can control – your own actions and behaviour” and “we all need to stand together – we are all in care together.”
Children and young people in care can write further supportive messages on the back of the postcards for others in their position. They then take a photo of their contribution and email it the city council’s youth workers, as well as sharing it on social media using the hashtag #CardsFromCare.
Contributions received on returned cards so far include one from a 12-year-old who says: “I live in foster care with my younger sister. We are adjusting to a new way of life and a new family all at once. It can feel like a lot, but we are really enjoying having time we wouldn’t usually have to get to know each other. Embrace change and make the most of a bad situation.”
After the lockdown, the cards will be used to form a collage which will be displayed in Leicester to show children in care how they looked after each other during the coronavirus crisis.
Deputy city mayor responsible for social care, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “This is a really difficult time for all of us, but it will be felt even more keenly by vulnerable groups like children in care, who already face significant challenges. It’s vital that we do all we can to help and support them.
“The great thing about this campaign is that it’s been developed by our children so that they can all support each other, utilising the messages and mediums that they relate to the most. It’s a fantastic way of showing young people in care that they are not alone at this isolating time.”
Cards from Care is part of a wider social media campaign devised by and for young people, called Quaranteens. It offers support during the lockdown via social media, including videos sharing ideas on the way in which young people are getting through the current crisis.
Further support is offered through #TenSecondTips, a series of short social media videos released last week, devised by young people in Leicester to help others support their mental health with positive activities during the lockdown.
The #TenSecondTips were launched by the city council and Leicestershire Partnership Trust, and have already had more than 5,000 views.
To view the #TenSecondTips, see youtube.com/LeicsNHS