Thirty young people have taken part in a balloon release to mark the start of National Care Leavers week.
The annual event aims to raise awareness of the challenges those leaving care face. Thirty young people from Wigan Borough who have left care released the balloons. They each wrote their dreams and aspirations on luggage tags, which were attached to the balloons.
Among the care leavers at the event was Damien Green, 21, from Wigan who spent 17 years in the care of Wigan Council and Sarah Hughes, 20, from Shevington, who was in care since the age of three. Both now live independent lives with the support of council staff. They have recently earned qualifications in health and social care and are looking for employment.
Young people face significant difficulties when they leave care. National Care Leavers week is designed to raise awareness of the problems they face while celebrating their achievements.
Anne Goldsmith, Wigan Council’s service director for specialist and targeted services, says: “We want to recognise and raise awareness of the remarkable achievements of young people who have left care in Wigan Borough.
“Leaving care presents many challenges and difficulties for young people. Living independently can be a massive change for them. We try to support care leavers as best we can. I’m pleased so many of those who have left care in Wigan have gone onto university, college and employment and live happy and productive lives.”