‘5 Nations, 1 Voice’: Alliance connecting care-experienced young people launches with #CareDay! 

Five charities representing children in care and care leavers are joining together to connect and support these young people to shape policy and effect change across the UK and Ireland. As part of the 5 Nations, 1 Voice alliance launch, Friday 19 February 2016 has been named #CareDay, with activities planned across the nations.

Supported by a £499,745 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, 5 Nations 1 Voice brings together Who Cares? Scotland, The Who Cares? Trust (England), Voices from Care (Wales), VOYPIC (Northern Ireland) and EPIC (Ireland). Each organisation is uniquely positioned in their own nation, and they share a common purpose: to represent the views or promote the voices of care-experienced young people to improve their experiences and outcomes.

5 Nations 1 Voice will build connections among care-experienced young people across the UK and Ireland. These young people experience similar challenges whether they grow up in Aberdeen or Aberystwyth, Belfast or Bath, County Cork or the Cairngorms. 5 Nations 1 Voice will create opportunities for young people in care and care leavers to build supportive networks with their peers, both face to face and online. The alliance hopes to build confidence and resilience among young care-experienced people, particularly about their identity.

5 Nations 1 Voice will advocate for increased protection for care-experienced people in law and ensure that they are integral to shaping policy that affects them. This could include measures that introduce more stability and security into their lives. Each organisation has experience of effecting change in their own nations; through this project, they will work collaboratively on nationwide awareness-raising activity.

The alliance is launching with #CareDay on Friday 19 February, a day to celebrate the achievements of children in care and care leavers and share our dreams for a world in which their life chances are equal to those of their peers. #CareDay is being marked in Ireland with a celebratory event showcasing care-experienced young people’s talents at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office in Dublin.

Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan stated:

“EPIC is delighted to be involved in the Five Nations One Voice Campaign. We look forward to this campaign bringing together young people with care experience to share their stories, promote a positive sense of identity and empower young people to be involved in changing the future policy landscape for young people growing up in care. This campaign will help create a movement to ensure a stronger, collective voice for our young people in care, who deserve the very best opportunities.”

Notes to editors

  • The 5 Nations 1 Voice project has been generously supported by The Big Lottery Fund. The grant will support UK elements of the partnership and cannot be used to fund direct activities in the Republic of Ireland. The involvement of EPIC in the partnership will help contribute knowledge and experience, and bring learning from the UK nations back to Ireland.
  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. The Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invests over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 The Big Lottery Fund has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.
    biglotteryfund.org.uk/
  • Who Cares? Scotland works with care-experienced youngpeople across Scotland and seeks to ensure they are engaged with their care journey; are supported to connect with wider networks of care-experienced young people locally and nationally; and are empowered to speak up on behalf of themselves and the wider population of care-experienced young people across Scotland.
    whocaresscotland.org/
  • The Who Cares? Trust is a voice and champion for children and young people living in care in England. By listening to their views, The Who Cares? Trust lobbies for effective policy, provides relevant and supportive direct services and publishes books and magazines to meet their needs.

www.thewhocarestrust.org.uk

  • Voices from Care is Wales’ national independent organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and welfare of children and young people who are or have been looked after.

www.voicesfromcarecymru.org.uk/

  • VOYPIC works to improve the lives of children and young people cared for away from home in Northern Ireland.

http://www.voypic.org/

See the dedicated Facebook page for more on VOYPIC’s activities on 19 February:

https://www.facebook.com/VoypicCareDay/

  • EPIC advocates with and for children in care and care-experienced young people throughout the Republic of Ireland. The aims of EPIC are to: facilitate and empower young people to have their voices heard, promote the rights and participation of young people in care and to provide young people with information, support and advice.

For more information on EPIC, visit www.epiconline.ie, like them on Facebook  www.facebook.com/epicireland or follow them on Twitter @epicireland.

Ends

For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC
Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 086 607 3866

Email: jennifergargan@epiconline.ie  Website: www.epiconline.ie

EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) is an independent association that works throughout the Republic of Ireland, with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had an experience of living in care.

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