Rotherham’s looked after children’s suitcase campaign pays off

Published Friday, 11th May 2018
Rotherham’s looked after children’s suitcase campaign pays off
Jane Galloway and Stephen Simpson from Cidon Construction with members of Rotherham Looked After Children’s Council

Rotherham’s looked after children are celebrating the success of their Bin Liners are Not Suitcases campaign following a donation of more than 60 new suitcases.

The Looked After Children’s Council (LACC) campaign shone a light on the unacceptable practice of having their precious belongings put in black bin liners when they move foster placements.

When local company Cidon Construction heard about the campaign, company director Stephen Simpson said he had to do something to help. The Platts Common  construction firm put out a call to its clients and suppliers and was quickly inundated with suitcases.

Mr Simpson says: “Like many others, we were sad to see already vulnerable children having to move with their things in bin liners. We wanted to do something to help and to show the children that people do care.”

Mr Simpson and Cidon procurement manager Jane Galloway attended a Rotherham LACC meeting where they presented a sample of the 66 suitcases to the young people.

“We had a brilliant evening with the young people. We heard first hand just what a difference having a new suitcase will make,” added Mr Simpson.

Rotherham’s Corporate Parenting Panel committed to prohibiting the use of bin liners to move personal possessions following a presentation by members of the LACC last year. Council social workers and foster carers now have access to suitcases including the 66 donated by Cidon.

LACC member Kaylan said: “It’s great that people want to help us. It makes our campaign mean even more now. We want our success in Rotherham to help change things for all looked after children locally, regionally and nationally.”

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “We are now providing suitcases to carers and social workers when children and young people are moving placements. It is simple, if this is what we would do for our own children then we should do the same for our looked after children.”