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As part of the Giving Back campaign, AlphaBiolabs has made an additional donation to leading children’s rights charity National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) in support of their Christmas campaign.

Care at Christmas has been launched by NYAS to support young people leaving the care system. Christmas is often a difficult time for many people, but it can be especially challenging for young care leavers. Unlike most young people who can rely on family and friends long after their teens, care leavers are expected to be independent once they turn 18, often left to cope alone. In 2022, 10,000 young people will leave the care system and without the right support, 1 in 4 will become homeless.

In response to this, NYAS created the mentoring programme Side by Side, which matches young care leavers with a local volunteer who will be there for them to provide advice and guidance – not just at Christmas, but all year round. The Care at Christmas campaign will help care leavers find that ‘friend for life’ through the programme this Christmas.

One young person who has already benefited from the Side by Side programme is Samal (name changed to protect identity). When Samal fled his home country of Iraq two years ago on his bicycle, he was determined to make a safer life for himself. After arriving in the UK, he was given “looked after” status, and has lived ever since in asylum seekers’ accommodation, while working on his Right to Remain application.

NYAS volunteer Martyn became Samal’s mentor earlier this year as part of the Side by Side project, and since then Samal has received his Right to Remain and is on the way to becoming fully independent with Martyn’s help and guidance.

Martyn said: “Samal is now 19 years old, and a patient, grateful young man. We’ve been meeting together for more than eight months now, and the progress he has made has been phenomenal. He is now planning the rest of his life.”

Paula Hanford, Head of Income Generation at NYAS said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive another incredible gift from AlphaBiolabs and we really do value their continued support. The latest donation will support our Care at Christmascampaign which will benefit our Side by Side care leaver programme by providing some of the young people with a skills bursary to help them achieve their goals.”

For more details about NYAS visit their website

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