John Lewis’s Christmas advert, launched today, features a couple getting ready and making preparations to welcome a foster child into their home. Become is proud to have worked with the John Lewis Partnership to shape their work in this area and to see a much-loved institution challenge the stigma that surrounds the care-experience.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, CEO of Become, the national charity for children in care and young care leavers, says:
“Being taken into care, or moved to a new home, is often a very upsetting and traumatic time.
The new John Lewis advert shines a light on what good care can and should look like for the 108, 000 children in the UK care system today, and reminds us that all children deserve love, stability and security to thrive. It is especially poignant to be highlighting this issue at Christmas, when most families are coming together but too many children in care are isolated and alone.
No child in care should feel this way at Christmas, or indeed at any time, and yet the reality is there are not enough suitable and safe places for children to live and many are moved miles away from the connections that are important to them, from their friends, their siblings, their schools.
December is when we expect the Government to publish its response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which makes the John Lewis Christmas campaign even more relevant and timely. We hope the Government will bring forward changes that will ensure all children receive the good care they should expect and deserve.”
Young care-experienced people working with Become took part in focus sessions with John Lewis to help inform the advert, which is part of John Lewis Partnership’s recently launched Building Happier Futures Programme. The initiative aims to harness the talent and improve the lives of children who have grown up in care and support them into employment across the John Lewis Partnership and at other companies.
Katharine Sacks-Jones is a member of the programme’s Advisory Group and Shona is one of the young care-experienced people Become brought into the John Lewis advert focus sessions.
Of the Building Happier Futures Programme, Shona says:
“I think that John Lewis’s new focus on supporting those with care experience is something that should be adopted by every employer. The fact that they have taken the time to talk with and listen to a group of care leavers shows that John Lewis validates our experiences and offers broader opportunities. They recognise that having care experience shouldn’t be something that holds us back, but knowing there is extra support available and just a deeper level of understanding makes applying and working so much easier. It means we don’t have to hide our backgrounds to fit in with colleagues.”
Katharine Sacks-Jones is available for interview. For more information and images contact Become’s Press & Media Officer, [email protected] / 07951 155246
Become is the national charity for children in care and young care leavers. For 30 years, the charity has stood shoulder to shoulder with care-experienced young people, helping them get the support they need right now and changing the system for future generations.