The campaign was conceived at the Pride of St Helens Business Awards ceremony in November, which a number of care leavers attended. Key figures in the borough, including St Helens Council’s Chief Executive Mike Palin, and Eamonn McManus, Chairman of St Helens Economy Board and of Saints RLFC, spoke about the need to do more as a borough to support those leaving care.
These might be individuals without family, who might be spending Christmas alone and who have not had the most advantageous start to life.
Following that event, and in just three weeks, the project saw over £7,000 in cash and hundreds of items and gifts donated by over 40 different St Helens Ambassadors businesses and local schools, creating hundreds of festive hampers that will be presented to recent care leavers at Christmas.
Not only were hampers produced for each care leaver, but for their children too, and each was tailored to the individual and their needs.
At a celebratory event at the town hall, St Helens Council Leader Derek Long said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to share my heartfelt thanks to everyone that contributed, including Rainford, De la Salle and Cowley secondary schools, our local businesses and ambassadors, and the council staff that were the driving force behind this wonderful campaign.
“This is a real credit to the work of our schools, Invest in St Helens and the ambassador programme. The ambassadors programme from the start has been about raising aspiration in St Helens but also about compassion, and making sure people have the opportunity to succeed. The support to the care leaver appeal has shown just how powerful our community can be when working together.”
St Helens Ambassadors are businesses and individuals that choose to become proactive advocates for the borough both nationally and internationally, with the power to influence how it is marketed, portrayed in the media and at events, to promote it as the educated choice to live and work.
Find out more about becoming a St Helens Ambassador. You can also get in touch with Cathryn White on 01744 671738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.