Young people in care are building their own futures

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

An exciting new portal to showcase independent living skills, created in partnership with care experienced young people, is improving the lives of young people leaving care.

LifeLabs portal
LifeLabs is a new online hub that helps young people gain the skills to live well by themselves.

When you’re a young person about to leave care, it can be hard to adapt to living independently. That’s what led our Plymouth Care Journeys service to join forces with creative agency Leap in a cutting-edge collaborative project. The focus? Creating an innovative new online hub to help young people gain the skills to live well by themselves.

The really exciting bit is that young people in or leaving care played a major role in shaping the portal, called LifeLabs. They worked in collaboration with Leap and Barnardo’s national partner IKEA to provide opportunities for care experienced young people to connect and learn together.

The portal empowers them to develop skills around independent living using their own experiences. It features helpful videos like how to cook with leftovers or start saving money.

Candiece, one of the young people who took part, says: ‘I had no idea you could get help with budgeting through your online banking app. It’s definitely going to be something I use.’

Kyle says of a cooking video: ‘The instructions are like stepping stones and you really can’t mess it up!’

Many of the young people share their own tips on the portal like Max who points out: ‘Money tins are one of the best ways to save.’ While Ryan advises: ‘If you’re feeling down or alone hop on a scooter or BMX and go and have fun.’

Ikea building skills and confidence
The project hosted by IKEA helped building skills and confidence

Young people get stuck into flat-pack

The initiative also featured a unique exhibition in IKEA Exeter, showcasing pieces of furniture customised by care experienced young people. The pieces were created through workshops hosted by IKEA, who helped the young people learn DIY skills and build their self confidence. At Barnardo’s, we’re working with IKEA as part of a national partnership to help care leavers live well in their homes.

Workshop participant Emily says of the experience: ‘I’ve always loved galaxies. The colours look amazing so it was easy to choose them as the inspiration for my chest of drawers.

There’s more than we could ever imagine in a galaxy – a lot more than you see on the outside. I sometimes feel people only see the outside, and automatically judge someone based on the way they look or walk or act. But if you talk to them, you’ll see there’s so much more.’

Find out how you can help

You can help the vulnerable children and young people we support to continue to grow and become independent by leaving a gift in your Will.  

 A gift in your Will is a special way to mark the experiences that shape you – and pass on the gift of childhood to future generations.

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

Last modified: September 7, 2021

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