Published: Thursday, 21st April 2022

We have signed a pledge to ensure that children and young people in our care have their belongings treated with dignity, care and respect.

The My Things Matter campaign, created by leading children’s rights charity NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), calls for all local authorities across England and Wales to sign up to a pledge outlining five promises, when moving children and young people in care, so they don’t have their belongings moved in bin bags.

The five promises are:

  1. We will help you to keep your most precious belongings with you safely during your move and promise they will not be moved in bin bags.
  2. We will provide written guidance for you and anyone helping you to move, which we will publish on our website.
  3. We will never move or throw away your belongings without your consent and will always respect your personal property.
  4. We will support you to make a complaint if any of your belongings have been lost or damaged during your move.
  5. We will communicate with you about your move and ask you how the move went.

Treat all children in our care with dignity and respect

Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am pleased, and also proud, that we have signed this pledge. As corporate parents we treat all the children in our care with dignity and respect and this extends to their belongings as well. If a child or young person does need to move home, we do everything we can to ensure they have a positive experience. Signing the My Things Matter pledge supports this and our aspiration to make Medway even more Child-Friendly.”

Improve the moving experience

Rita Waters, NYAS Group CEO said, “All too often for children in care, they have a negative experience when moving from one home to another; it’s not good enough and needs to change. That is why the NYAS My Things Matter campaign is asking local authorities to help make the moving experience as good as it can be for children and young people.”

As part of the campaign, we have received pack-away travel bags which will be given to children in our care, the first bags were given to children at an Egg-Travaganza event, in partnership with The Young Lives Foundation, at Strood Youth Centre on Friday, 8 April, where children and young people found out more about the work of the Medway Children and Young People Council (MCYPC). The MCYPC provides a voice for looked after children and young people, as well as care leavers in Medway. As well as taking part in an Easter egg hunt children and young people also had the chance to create luggage tags for their new bags.

Feel respected, valued and dignified

Ellie Fiore, Participation and Engagement Coordinator at The Young Lives Foundation, said: “It is so important that young people feel respected, valued and dignified when moving home and these bags will ensure they do. The accompanying personalised luggage tag and postcard containing the Medway Corporate Parents pledge, will also help to further remind young people that their things do matter."

Find out more about the support we provide to children and families.

Find out more information about NYAS.

News archive