Latest News

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Opportunity - LIFE course

 A LIFE course at New Malden Fire Station from Monday 30th of July to Thursday 2nd of August 2018 and I need to sign up some young people aged 14-17 and I was wondering if you could help me?


The LIFE course is an opportunity for young people aged 14 to 17  to spend 4 days with the London Fire Brigade to learn about the services that the Fire Brigade provide but also;

·         To become a firefighter for 4 days

·         Learn the same training techniques as operational firefighters

·         Learn fire safety and escape plans

·         Carry out ladder rescues

·         Wear Breathing apparatus in our smoke chamber

·         Consequences of hoax calls

·         Consequences of Anti-Social Behaviour

·         Formulate planned rescues

·         Be officer in Charge of the Watch


These are just some of the challenges that they young people will face thorough out the 4 day course!


The hours for the LIFE course are 8.30am to 3pm (cooked breakfast, lunch, snacks & drinks provided free of charge)


The Pass Out Ceremony for the LIFE course will be held on Thursday 2nd of August at 2pm, all Family and friends of the young people will be invited to attend.


All young people who attend the LIFE course will receive a LIFE Portfolio (containing certificates, assessment sheets and course schedule) , this can be used as an addition to their CV for applications for higher education and/or college etc.

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Quad Activity Week 30th July - 3rd August

The week is open to children, young people & parents who are working with the following teams: Sutton Locality Teams, Youth Offending Team, Targeted Youth Support, Leaving Care Team.  
The theme for the week is (Celebrating positive integration) the week will consist of activities such as Boxing, Football (for children with disabilities), Zumba for children & Parents, Parent coffee drop in advice, Movie club for under 10's,  Talent show, Music workshop & Tots & Teens session for babies and young mothers. Food and refreshments will be provided on a daily basis. 
This is a great opportunity to provide our children, young people & families free activities/ advice and information during the summer holidays. Referring is simple, All staff need to do is simply complete which day they would like their client to attend via a google form. 
For Boxing & Football a consent form will need to be completed by parents. 
Any staff who would like to refer a young person or parent please see attached forms and complete the google link below:
If you would like any more info please feel free to email Rachel Chesworth - or Brian Duffus - Brian Duffus


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UASC social and support group

We are starting up a UASC social and support group for the young people in the Leaving Care Team. The idea behind the group is to offer a safe and supportive environment for young people who are seeking asylum in the UK. We work with young people who have been living in the UK for a few years now who can offer excellent peer advice and support to others who have recently arrived.

Settling in to the UK, as well as working with solicitors and the Home Office, can feel overwhelming and so this group allows young people to be guided by people who have already been through the process.

We are hoping to plan monthly sessions with a variety of fun activities where everyone can get to know each other at The Quad, Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton,  SM5 1JW on a Thursday. At the moment the focus is on getting a core group together; we can then agree a regular timeslot.

Please let us know if you would like to come and be a part of this group, either as a mentor or just to come along and have fun! :)


Leaving Care Team: 0208 770 6600

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London CiCC Meeting - Islington - 31st May 2018

A London CiCC meeting took place in Islington on Thursday 31st May to discuss three key areas (listed below) with a view to collating information and insight from care leavers and looked after children from the attending local authorities.  The aim is to present the findings to senior decision makers and the ADLCS (The Association of Directors of Children's Services) in Autumn 2018.

My name is Oonagh Bensberg and I am a Quality and Assurance Performance Officer working in the QA and Participation team in London Borough of Sutton’s children’s services.  I attended the event along with Melanie and and Sean, two or our CiCC members.

3 key areas:

Education support – what we need:

  • Information and guidance re entitlements and what to expect e.g. how pupil premium is used, bursaries and other entitlements

  • Training for designated teachers (mandatory), to include young people

  • Support with mental health issues e.g. peer mentoring


Accommodation/housing – what we need:


  • Secure accommodation/tenancies

  • Training on tenancies and preparation for independent living

  • Agreed minimum standards in relation to property


Money Management – what we need:


  • Support with budgeting (from age 14-16 latest)

  • A mandatory money management course to be completed before living independently

  • Ensure availability of a mentor/support re budgeting wisely


The session started off with a couple of guest speakers.

The first guest speaker was from the South London Commissioning Programme who circulated a questionnaire to young people about Placements;  initial group discussions highlighted the following areas:

  • Issues around trust with the SW’s

  • Preferred placement locations; ie near established networks and friends

  • Choice of placements

  • Nationality and ethnicity matching

  • More consideration of the young person’s views

  • Potential to have a good relationship with Foster carer


This was followed by The Tavistock Institute independent researcher talking about a project on young people's experiences in foster care.  The initial group discussions highlighted that young people preferred:

  • Easy access to transport links - for work and support

  • Comfort - favourite duvet or teddy

  • Friendly neighbourhood

  • Privacy

The young people at the meeting were given the opportunity to sign up and get involved in the research with The Tavistock Institute.

We then split into two groups for a focus group:

Young people’s focus group

All the young people went into a room and sat in a circle, introduced themselves and played an ‘ice breaking’ game.

They split into 3 groups and completed a money management questionnaire on the support young people receive in school and college. From this activity, they learnt that different local authorities work in many different ways with different systems in place to support young people.

Participation Officer’s focus group

All the participations officers and managers introduced themselves and briefly outlined what their CiCC’s looked like and what challenges and success they had experienced.  We discovered some local authorities also run a Care Leavers Forum and Young Inspectors programmes. One local authority had a CiCC choir and another use of a youth mini bus!

After lunch, we watched a Presentation by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, a campaigning group that help people and organisations effect positive and lasting social change in their communities.

We looked at who are the important allies and opponents in campaigns and the various mediums that can be used to campaign successfully.

Thanks to Rose de Paeztron, Coordinator for the London CiCC, City of London Corporation for organising the event and bringing participation workers and CiCC members together to share their experiences and views.

Oonagh Bensberg

5th June 2018

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Recruitment workshop

If you're looking for tips on how to update your CV to make it eye catching to employers and want to know the 'do's' and 'don'ts' in an interview and much more - then we have the workshop for you! If you would like to attend this workshop at The Quad, Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton SM5 1JW on Wednesday 27th June 2018 at 13.30 - 16.00 then please contact your PA or the LCT on 0208 770 6600 for more information.

Please note there are only 15 places available, so please register your interest with your PA, ASAP.


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Feeling stressed about exams?

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Pamper Day Party!

On Sunday 25th March a ‘Pamper Party’ was held at a local hairdresser’s named Degenis’s. The day was organised for the Unite CiCC (Children in Care Council) members for an afternoon of relaxation and treats. Eight girls attended the event and as our guests arrived they were warmly greeted by the staff of Degensi’s.  One foster carer had travelled all the way from Kent for her 3 excited young girls to attend the event!


With music playing in the background, we began with two girls at a time having their hair curled and another three girls having their nails painted while others tucked into party nibbles.  


Some girls created ‘Melting Beads’; pegboards were laid out and a peg pattern created. A member of Degenis’ staff took each design, covered it with parchment paper and ironed over it, resulting in the beads melting and sticking to one another.  This was a lovely keepsake to take home.


Once each treatment had finished the girls would alternate so that everyone had a turn. Then the music was turned up and everyone was dancing and enjoying the party atmosphere. We also had a karaoke machine and took turns to sing along to some favorite tunes.


Then, the best part of the day … the chocolate fountain!! Everyone got excited and tucked into strawberries and marshmallows coated in chocolate. Yum!


As the event came to an end, everyone was gifted with a party bag which contained some bracelets, nail varnish and treats.


Thank you to Maria at Degenis for hosting the party and Nadine (LBS)  for organising the event with a great local business, which everyone enjoyed.

Melanie (Children in Care Council Member)


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Mybnk workshop - 13th and 14th February

Hello, my name is Melanie and I attended the London Borough of Sutton two day, money budgeting workshop run by  Mybnk, at the Civic Offices on 13th and 14th February.


The aim of this workshop was to increase the access, use and motivation of young people to use digital tools to develop their money management skills and help build confidence with their budgeting.  


Over the two day course we:


  • Completed a booklet on what our money goals will be in 5 years time,

  • discussed income and expenditure

  • Looked at good and bad money habits and

  • Considered new habits we want to commit to.


We also looked at:  attitudes towards money, budgeting, sources of income, wage slips, tax, NI (National Insurance), how banks work and different methods of borrowing money.


During the event, we engaged in groups activities. In one of the activities, we split into 2 groups, with the two Leaving Care Team Personal Advisors joining in. We could wish for anything we needed and wanted to survive on a desert island but were only allowed to write down 6 items.  We discussed what we ‘needed’ and what we ‘wanted’ to survive on the island and the difference between both. We established a ‘need’ is essential but a ‘want’ is a desire and discussed how that relates to money management.


We were also informed about an App called ‘Spending Tracker’ which I have tested. This App allows you to add your income and expenditure and tells you how much money you have left. When adding in your expenses, you choose from categories such as eating out, clothes, general, shopping and more, however if a category you want is not listed, you can add it in. This App also shows a pie chart of where your money has been spent.

Ten candidates attended the workshop.   All the young people that attended both days will receive a certificate and a £15 gift voucher. The Leaving Care team provided lunch, refreshments and travel reimbursement for the young people.  We also had positive feedback about the course, see quotes below:


“All sections were very helpful”

“I recommend this course to anyone looking for financial help”

“I can now budget my money more effectively to save to go on holiday.”


The two day workshop was a great success and everyone that took part gained important information about budgeting and managing money.


Thanks to everyone involved in putting the course together.


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Business Tour - Tuesday 10th April

Business Tour - Tuesday 10th April 10am-12 noon (in the Easter holidays), Unit 5 , The Tramsheds, Coomber Way CR04TQ  . We feel privileged to have been offered (for our older children) the opportunity to visit Naturally Thinking, a company that makes Cosmetics ( including skin/facial creams, shower gels, massage / aromatherapy products and many more) from purely natural products. The visit will include a tour of the premises to see how ingredients such as lavender, basil, mint etc are taken from the ground, how the scents/oils are taken, mixed, bottled and packaged for Customers.

Please contact Nadine Wyatt on 07739631627 or if you wish to attend - we are limited to a maximum of 15 places so first come first served. This event is free, Carers are welcome to attend and transport support is available if required.


Website is:


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Local Safeguarding Children's Board

Hello, my name is Zoe and I am a member of the Sutton Children in Care council. On Thursday 22nd February 2018 the London Borough of Sutton’s LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board) team arranged and carried out a workshop. The LSCB is a body set up in each local authority to coordinate all the agencies involved in children's safeguarding whilst promoting the welfare of children in Sutton. The event was arranged to discuss the 3 Year LSCB Plan.


The event was held at The Holiday Inn, Sutton. We were sat at tables of around 7-10 people with mini laptops and notepads. We started the session with an icebreaker which helped everyone settle in.  There were a variety of attendees including social workers and senior managers from Sutton, housing association and health care professionals, teachers and police.  


We looked at the plans for year 1, 2 and 3 individually and analysed the objectives.


I contributed my ideas and recommendations about which services the LSCB should keep or change. I also expanded on how and what the LSCB could do to improve its service. I advised having social media and video conferencing aids is more suitable for young people, rather than formal meetings in a room. Video conferencing is more ‘young people friendly’ ie, skype and facetime.


We were also asked to “keep or change” items relating to a survey completed and analysed before the event. For example, there were questions on children in care’s engagement and the meetings they attend, their mental and physical health as well as housing. I provided vital insight and answered honestly, as this will help the LSCB make the best decisions around their future plans and recommendations regarding children in care.


I really enjoyed meeting all the other people in the room and listening to their views. I found it very interesting to look at the 3 year plan and see what was expected to change or continue in Sutton, in future years. I also enjoyed the fact I had input to the 3 year plan on behalf of other children in care. It was really good to see a diverse range of people sharing their thoughts and ideas.


Thank you to the LSCB for organising the event and inviting me.