A project supporting the health and well-being of Looked After Children and foster carers has been awarded another five-years of Lottery funding.
The Green Fingers 'Healthy Care In Action' project is run by Worcestershire County Council and provides young people with the opportunity to access group activities with other Looked After Children to improve their health, well-being and social skills.
The project focuses on promoting health lifestyles through participation in 'green' activities such as therapeutic gardening, cookery, arts, wildlife, woodwork, fishing and healthy lifestyle workshops. These sessions provide a safe and nurturing environment for the young people to discover things about themselves and the world around them as well as learn new skills. The variety of activities allows young people to excel in new things which also improve their self-esteem and confidence as well as develop their social and communication skills.
480 Looked After Children and 242 carers have accessed the Green Fingers project since it started in 2010. As a result of the project nearly half of the children and over half of the carers have reported an improvement in their health and well-being and have a better understanding of healthy lifestyles.
The next five years of funding will allow the project to develop further and expand some of the services is offers. Organisers now hope to develop their educational mentoring to offer more places and accreditations/qualifications to meet the increasing demand. They also intend to open the project up to more people, such as care leavers and children and carers in Kinship Care.
Jo Frost, who manages the project, said: "We're absolutely over the moon that we've secured another five years of funding. The activities that young people and carers take part in makes a real difference to them so it's wonderful that this can continue and be expanded further."
Cllr John Campion, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: "The Green Fingers project has had a positive impact on so many young people and significantly improved their life chances. Securing this funding is all down to the continued hard-work of the staff and all those involved in making the project such a success."