Celebration Fund for Looked After Children and Care Leavers

What is the purpose of the fund?

All councillors at Surrey County Council are committed to being good corporate parents and this means they will encourage and support children and young people in care and leaving care to achieve their potential. To help with this there is a small, discretionary fund that all Members are asked to contribute to, which as corporate parents we set aside to recognise, and reward looked after children and care leavers for their achievements

What can I apply for?

There is no definitive list of what can be applied for; however, examples include:

  • Lessons/Training Courses
    Previous awards granted: music lessons, dance lessons, record studio sessions, beauty/security courses
  • Equipment for a hobby
    Previous awards granted: cameras, gym equipment, musical instruments, art supplies, iPods
  • Visits/trips
    Previous awards granted: school/residential trips, football tickets, theatre trips, zoo experience.

Please be aware that due to limited funding available what is applied for must be outside of the core offer and what we expect the child or young person's carer to normally provide. We are unable to support requests for any form of therapy.

The maximum amount of each award is £300 per child/per young person (exceptions can be made if a case is clearly made as to why more would be required) and it may be the case that a partial amount of what is applied for is awarded.

Eligibility

In order to ensure that as many children and young people can benefit from this fund as possible, each child/young person is entitled to a maximum of one award in a financial year.

The applications and awards made through this fund are expected to make a positive difference to a child or young person's life in his/her personal growth, development and achievement.

How to make an application

Before making an application, please check the Local Offer to ensure that there is not already an alternative way to seek financial support eg the laptop and learn to drive schemes.

Applications can only be made by professionals working with looked after children and care leavers using the link below. This is including but not limited to; Social Workers, Personal Advisors and staff from the Virtual School.

Please complete the Celebration Fund for Looked After Children and Care Leavers online application form. Applications received by email will not be accepted.

Apply for the Celebration Fund

We really want to hear the voice of children and young people throughout the application process, and encourage you to include pictures, video or audio clips where possible. These can be referenced in the online application form and sent to celebration.fund@surreycc.gov.uk

If you are a child looked after, care leaver or carer, please work with your key worker to help complete your application.

Application tips

The following guidance is intended to make applications quick and easy to complete. It is important to be clear and concise to ensure your application has the best chance of success at panel. You may want to include a quote from the young person. Audio/video can be referenced in the online application and sent to celebration.fund@surreycc.gov.uk

We have provided some examples below to help you answer the detailed application questions:

What award is the child/young person requesting?

  • Provide a link to the requested item if possible.

Please specify the sum of the award requested

  • Specify the amount requested and breakdown of this cost
    Example: £129.99 will cover travel and tickets for 2 people

Why should the child or young person receive this award? (what have they achieved and what are we celebrating)

  • Explain why this award has been chosen
    For example: Is this something they are passionate about or have mentioned?
  • Provide specific examples of achievements
    For example: improved school attendance/grades, personal improvements, progress with a hobby etc.

What difference will this award make to the child or young person's life

  • Provide specific examples
    Example Answer: A trampoline would provide a positive outlet for this young person to channel their excess energy and will give them an opportunity to engage in positive physical activity on a regular basis.

Please provide details of any other funding streams and/or contributions that have been explored to obtain this award and detail whether they have been successful or unsuccessful.

  • Examples of funding streams and contributions may include: charity applications, setting up home allowance, virtual school bursary, young person saving pocket money, foster carer contributions, service funding etc.
  • Example: the Virtual School have agreed to fund £x and previously foster carers have contributed £x towards this.
  • Example: the University bursary does not cover this because it is a course specific requirement.

Panel dates and application deadlines

There will be three panels held across each financial year (June-March) these usually take place in June, November and March. For each financial year panel dates and deadlines will be updated on this webpage.

For this financial year (2020-2021) applications will be considered as follows:

  • 30 June 2020 panel will consider applications submitted prior to 11 June 2020
  • 30 Nov 2020 panel will consider applications submitted between 12 June 2020 – 1 Nov 2020
  • 1 March 2021 panel will consider applications submitted between 2 Nov 2020 – 5 Feb 2021

Application stages are as follows

  1. Shortlisting Panel – initial screening with nominated service representative.
  2. Celebration Fund Panel - Councillors from our Corporate Parenting Board will assess each application on its own merit and it is at the discretion of the panel what decision is made.

The panel's decision is final and cannot be appealed against.

Finding out the result of the application

We will aim to make the result of any application known to you within two weeks of the panel's decision.

If the application is unsuccessful, we will explain the reason for this decision and will provide feedback to help improve potential future applications.

If the application is successful, we will contact you to obtain further details to ensure payments can be processed. We will then work with our finance department to make the award available to you within one month of the panel's decision.

Panel may advise that further information is required for them to make an informed decision. If this is the case, you will be contacted via email and we will require you to respond as soon as possible.

We want to hear from you!

If a successful award has been made an email will be sent to keyworkers to ask for feedback and an update. The panel would be delighted to hear about the ways this fund has helped children and young people so please do let us know by emailing celebration.fund@surreycc.gov.uk

Contact us

If you have any queries regarding this scheme, encounter difficulties making an application, wish to withdraw an application or have any feedback about the process, please email: celebration.fund@surreycc.gov.uk