Wiltshire children and young people in care will have their own rucksack full of helpful items thanks to a new partnership.
Comfort U Bags (CUBs) is a project which was started by Nationwide employees more than two years ago as part of a leadership development programme.
The backpacks are available to children in care and are full of items including book tokens and puzzle books for older children and colouring books for younger ones. All backpacks though include a blanket and soft toy. There are different bags for different age and gender related groups from toddlers to juniors and teens.
The project began in Swindon and now CUBs has partnered with Wiltshire Council to supply the bags for 12 months from January.
Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: “This is a truly thoughtful gesture to those young people who are in care and provides something for them to focus on as well as treasure during times of upheaval. These backpacks demonstrate the wider community is thinking about how to help and this is a simple yet effective way to show support.”
Lindsey Ward, Compliance Advice Manager at Nationwide said: “We believe that every child deserves to feel a sense of dignity and to pack their belongings into a special bag they can call their own. This was our vision; to provide a proper bag, filled with comfort and essential items whilst they are on their journey to find their forever home. We’re really excited to be working with Wiltshire Council this year to help looked after children in this area and to provide every child a CUB.”
Simon Evans is a new foster carer for Wiltshire Council who is supportive of the scheme.
He said: It’s quite important that these children coming into care have a sense of belonging. These bags help alleviate the uncertainty and provide a comfort during what can be an unsettling time.”