Leeds Tribe Youth Group
Young people from The Tribe Youth Group are working with Foster 4 Leeds to create Buddy Bags for children going into care.
It might be cold outside but that won’t stop a local East Leeds Youth Group fundraising for children in care this Christmas.

Following an online fundraising appeal, the Tribe Youth Group have already raised enough to create 100 ‘Buddy Bags’ for children who are new into care, and this month they are determined to raise even more money by singing Christmas carols at venues across Leeds. Their aim is to distribute as many bags as possible in conjunction with Leeds City Council’s care team over the Christmas period and beyond.

Buddy Bags feature a cuddly teddy; toothbrush and toothpaste; a colouring book and pens; and a bag of sweets. Additionally, older Group members have also written personalised letters inviting the child to attend the Crossgates-based Tribe Youth Group in future.

If you’d like to show your support for the ‘Buddy Bag Service Project’, members of the Tribe Youth Group will be singing festive favourites in front of Tesco in Seacroft on Saturday 15 December from 10am.

Leeds City Council foster care team are always on the lookout for new carers so please visit the Foster4Leeds website for information about monthly drop-in events where any questions can be answered and you can take your first steps towards a rewarding new role.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin (Executive Board Member for Children and Families) said:

“It is great to see young people developing and delivering a project to support their peers. In Leeds, we truly value the voice and influence of all our young people, so it is fantastic that the Tribe Youth Group is getting involved in, and making a positive contribution to, the wider community. I urge everyone who can to come along to Tesco in Seacroft on Saturday 15 December to show their support.

“Fostering is a rewarding role that can make a real positive difference to a young person’s life while allowing them to maintain contact with their birth families in a safe, secure environment. I would encourage anybody who is interested in fostering, or would simply like to find out more, to contact our Foster for Leeds team.

“For some children in care, Christmas can be a very lonely time. Groups such as the Tribe Youth Group welcome all young people, and it is a great place to make new friends, have fun, and share experiences while getting involved in a range of activities. I am extremely proud of the work being done by young people to help deliver our ambition to be the best city for children to grow up in.”

Jean Barnbrook, Leader of The Tribe Youth Group said:

“I’m really proud to be the volunteer leader at The Tribe Youth Group. The children who attend love making a difference to their community.

“One of their Youth Leaders, Sophie, aged 15 had the idea to help children who have entered into emergency care. She wanted to give them a sense of being important to someone and the ‘Buddy Bag service project’ was with the intention of providing them with normality.

“The group wanted to raise money so at least 100 children new to care could receive a backpack for their belongings when moving but there are many more we could help so that’s why we’re fundraising in the community again.”

The Tribe’s fundraising effort in November had an amazing response and raised £600 including a £100 cheque from a well-wisher. Donations of pencil cases, sweets and personal donations from children and families of teddies were greatly received to be included in the ‘Buddy Bags’.

The online fundraiser page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thetribebuddybags was shared by local Facebook Groups with the Crossgates community and has seen an overwhelming response.