A NEW project that supports young people leaving care in West Yorkshire is launching next week.

Project Hope, which has been developed by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WYHCP), supports young people aged 16-25 who have left or are leaving care to find employment and help them develop the skills and experience they need for careers in the sector.

It has been jointly developed with health and care organisations from across West Yorkshire and with young people themselves to make sure it meets their needs.

The West Yorkshire scheme includes paid placements across the health and care partnership, involvement with events such as care leavers jobs fairs, support with education, and training employment skills.

Guest speaker at the launch event in Leeds will be former javelin world champion and Olympic medalist, Fatima Whitbread, who spent her first 14 years in a variety of care homes.

The keynote address will be delivered by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin, who is responsible for the region’s wider adult skills offer.

Sayma Mirza, Associate Director for Children, Young People and Families for the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming colleagues to West Yorkshire to mark the official launch of Project Hope and to shine a spotlight on this important agenda."