NYAS’s Unity Project has been nominated at the European Social Services Awards 2020.

The Project features in the Research Project Award which focuses on the influence of research on the development of services. CASCADE’s Dr Louise Roberts led a 5-year study looking at pregnancy and parenthood for care-experienced young people in Wales. The idea for the research came from young people and adults involved with Voices from Care Cymru, who had voiced concerns about the experiences and support available to young people in and leaving care when they became parents.

Along with representatives from Voices from Care Cymru and TGP Cymru, NYAS participated in an expert advisory group that supported the research project for its duration. Informed by the emerging research findings, NYAS’ Unity Project was developed and now provides holistic, intensive advocacy support to care experienced young mothers and expectant young mothers. With the ultimate aim of reducing the risk of their own children going into care, tailored one-to-one support allows care experienced young women to access support with budgeting, housing, independent living skills and parenting, allowing mothers to overcome barriers, to eradicate risks/concerns identified by Children’s Services and to become active citizens within their community. The Unity Project has also facilitated the creation of peer support networks to enhance social support for care experienced parents, reduce isolation and build resilience.

Initially funded by the UK Government’s Tampon Tax Fund, the project recently secured funding from the Welsh Government to maintain and expand provision across Wales.

Louise stated:

I am thrilled Project Unity has been nominated at the European Social Services Awards. It is fantastic that the research study has played a part in developing a support service which is now available to care-experienced young women across Wales.

Sharon Lovell, National Executive Director of Wales, said:

“We have seen first-hand how valued support from the Project Unity is and we are proud that this is now a nationally available service in Wales. It’s fantastic that the project has been recognised and shortlisted for the prestigious Research Project Award at the European Social Services Awards and we would encourage everyone to vote!”

Further details about the project and its recent evaluation are available on the NYAS website

You can vote for the Unity Project in the ‘Research Project Award’ category.