The Trust and Bfriends become Care Leaver Covenant partners

Published: 31st Oct 2023

Find out about a major new partnership for the Trust and its charity Bfriends...

It was a Halloween 'treat' for all involved today as Birmingham Children's Trust and its official charity, Bfriends, signed up to an official partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant. 

It was also fitting that the signing took place at the Lighthouse Young People's Centre, in the middle of the the latest conference organised by the Trust for care-experienced young people, their families, their carers and workers. 

Abba Loughran, co-chair of Bfriends, said: "As the official charity of Birmingham Children's Trust we are proud to be united with the Trust in our partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant. Providing the best support and opportunities to our care leavers and young adults is at the heart of all we do at Bfriends."

Lee Yale-Helms, fellow co-chair of Bfriends, said: "As co-chair of the charity, Bfriends, I am absolutely delighted that we and the Trust have signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant.  It is a real milestone event again and demonstrates our passion to work with the Trust for the benefit of our care experienced young people.  Well done to Jake Shaw, Alex Hillman and the Corporate Parenting team for securing this and to Abba Loughran and Claire Preston for leading this on behalf of our connected charity.”

Lisa Jamieson, Birmingham Children’s Trust Interim Director Commissioning and Corporate Parenting, said: “As care leavers week comes to a close the signing of the covenant is not only symbolic it is significant recognition that the service we offer goes above and beyond. It demonstrates the fantastic work of social workers, personal advisors, our corporate parenting service and our partners.” 

Claire Preston, GMI Head of Responsible Business and Bfriends board trustee, who was unfortunately unable to attend the signing, said: "I am delighted to sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant on behalf of Bfriends, having worked closely with the Covenant since its inception in 2018 and being a trustee of Bfriends. Bfriends signing up as a signatory to the Covenant will firmly cement our relationship going forward, and having the Covenant behind us will create more opportunities for care-experienced young people in Birmingham."

Gareth Evans, Spectra Director of Operations, said: "We are delighted to be formally recognising the partnership between the Care Leaver Covenant, Birmingham Children’s Trust and the Bfriends charity during National Care Leavers Week 2023. The Trust and Bfriends have for some time been important partners of the Care Leaver Covenant across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region, connecting care leavers in that region to opportunities from covenant signatories. A standout example of this is the three-way partnership including GMI Construction.

"Importantly, the Trust led the way with a first-of-its-kind care leaver apprenticeship scheme which has provided young people with practical life skills and professional experience with the Trust and its partners. It is these young people which have further shaped the partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant to ensure that other young people can benefit from the signatory network."

The words on the partnership document state this is 'the commitment and lauch of a major partnership between Birmingham Children's Trust, Bfriends Charity and the Care Leaver Covenant for committing to uphold the principles of the care leaver covenant and provide tangible support offers to the care leaver community.' 


Care Leaver Covenant



Signing the giant pledge (l-r) in picture above, were: 

  • Jake Shaw - Birmingham Children's Trust - Head of Rights and Participatiion and Corporate Parenting
  • Alex Hillman, Birmingham Children's Trust - Corporate Parenting and Partnerships Coordinator
  • Abba Loughran - Co-chair of Bfriends, Friends of Birmingham Children's Trust Charity
  • Gareth Evans - Spectra - Director of Operations (on behalf or the Care Leaver Covenant)
  • Nicholas Turner - GMI - Responsible Business Partner (on behalf of Claire Preston, GMI Head of Responsible Business and Bfriends board trustee)