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A Birmingham service which supports teenage care leavers make the move towards independence has been shortlisted for a national award.

The Holdings, managed by housing association Bournville Village Trust, has provided accommodation and support to 270 young care leavers since it opened.

Now the team behind it are in the running for an award at the national Housing Heroes Awards, which celebrate the ‘unsung heroes’ of the housing world.

They will compete against 10 other housing organisations from across the UK for the ‘Support and Care Team of the Year’ accolade.

Alison Wilkinson, Youth Services Manager at Bournville Village Trust, said: “Being a smaller service, we were so surprised to be chosen as a finalist from all the other entries across the country, but we’re absolutely over the moon.

“The team work really hard to provide the best possible service to young people leaving care, who are more at risk of loneliness, isolation and financial hardship than their peers. It’s great to be recognised for this.”

As well as providing fully-furnished flats, the Holdings supports care leavers aged 16-18 to gain educational and vocational skills and accreditations.

They also prepare young people for living on their own by helping them to develop practical skills, such as budgeting and cooking.

The number of looked after children in the West Midlands has steadily risen over the past few years with 9,240 looked after by a local authority in 2016 compared to 8,470 in 2012.*

The winners of the Housing Heroes Awards will be announced on 26th June at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Housing 2017 conference.

Bournville Village Trust is a charity and housing organisation founded by chocolate-maker and philanthropist George Cadbury in 1900.

The Trust’s vision is to create and sustain flourishing communities where people choose to live and it does this by providing high-quality housing and estate management services across Birmingham and Shropshire.

In total, Bournville Village Trust provides services to 8,000 homes of mixed tenure and 25,000 people.

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