Coventry City Council has signed up to a national scheme to offer further support to children and young people in care.
The Council has pledged its support to the ‘My Things Matter’ campaign by leading children’s rights charity NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), that promises those in care that their belongings will be protected and treated with respect.
Nationally, one in three care-experienced children will move home this year. That is over 26,000 children in England.
Sometimes these children move with less than 24 hours’ notice, making it difficult to say goodbye to their friends, teachers and classmates. The move can be made even worse if they have to pack their precious belongings into flimsy bin bags, causing items to be damaged or broken.
My Things Matter is campaigning for improved support and respect for care-experienced children and their belongings when they move, and to spread the message that every single one of these children deserves to move with dignity and respect.
Coventry City Council has always taken its responsibilities in this area very seriously, and has signed up to the national scheme to reinforce that message and to show its support for those in care.
Cllr Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are delighted to sign up to My Things Matter and show our support. This is another chance for us to show all our children and young people how important it is for us that they and their belongings are always treated with dignity and respect.
“We all know how important our treasured belongings are and the sentimental value they can have. For our children and young people in care, sometimes that can mean so much more. It can be a link to home and loved ones.
“We know what an important role we have as corporate parents, and we are very proud of that role and take all its responsibilities very seriously. We will always do our very best to make sure our children and young people in care feel valued and respected, wherever they are and whatever they are doing, and this pledge is yet another sign of that commitment.”
In signing up to the campaign, the Council makes five promises to help make the moving experience as positive as possible for children and young people in the care system.
They are that the Council will:
- Help you to keep your most precious belongings with you safely during your move and promise they will not be moved in binbags
- Provide written guidance for you, and anyone helping you to move, which we will publish on our website
- Never move or throw away your belongings without your consent and will always respect your personal property
- Support you to make a complaint if any of your belongings have been lost or damaged during your move
- Communicate with you about how you move and ask you how the move went.
The campaign is in partnership with Madlug, an award-winning bag brand based in Ireland.
Madlug stands for Made with a Difference Luggage, and the company champions Value, Dignity and Worth for children and young people in care. Established by a youth worker in 2015, Madlug is fighting for the same cause as NYAS’ My Things Matter award-winning campaign.
For every bag that they sell, Madlug donates a travel bag to a child in care. So far, Madlug has provided over 45,000 travel bags to care-experienced children and young people across the UK and Ireland.
Coventry has been provided with bags by Madlug to support moving children and young people when needed. If you want to find out more about Madlug and make a difference, visit the website.