A CARE association is trying to raise £2500 to ensure they can deliver a personalised gift to over 100 young people who will not have their families around them this Christmas.

Chantelle Chamberlin and Megan Macleod, directors of Oxfordshire Care Leaver Association (OCLA), are preparing gifts for some young people who will not have family with them at Christmas time.

OCLA is a local social enterprise, supported by Oxfordshire County Council, which provides children's social care services in the county.

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A care leaver is someone aged 16-25 who has spent a certain amount of time in the care of a local authority.

Ms Chamberlin said: "Being separated from your family, placed into care and then moved between multiple foster placements can be a traumatic experience for any young child.

"Christmas is a difficult time for care leavers, as this emphasises the loneliness."

OCLA is trying to raise funds to make care leavers' Christmasses a little more 'special'.

The pair plan to buy the presents from 'local shops and stores to try help them as well'.

Ms Macleod added: "With the current COVID-19 restrictions, some young people will be even more on their own this Christmas.

"We believe that it is more important than ever to make someone’s Christmas extra special by raising funds for Christmas presents for Care Leavers.

"We are asking the local community to show their support to these young people, show them that we care and that as a community, we can be a family."

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The delivery will be made on Christmas eve.

Councillor Steve Harrod, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet member for children and family services, said: "We know Christmas can be a lonely time for some people, and throughout this year it has been much harder to see and connect with others in our communities.

"This year it is even more important to reach out to those who may be alone, so I hope there will be lots of support for this initiative.

"OCLA is a wonderful example of the innovation and kindness that care experienced young people can bring, helping us improve our support for the children and young people we care for."