Central Chambers – 25th Anniversary Charity Dinner

It’s hard to believe it but Central Chambers is 25 years old. 

As part of our celebrations, we are hosting a charity dinner on the 2nd of October 2021 at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester.

The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel Ballroom

We have decided to make the most of our anniversary by helping a fantastic local charity – raising funds for a worthy cause whilst having a great night, especially after a difficult eighteen months for all.

We considered many worthy causes but, when we spoke with the Care Leavers’ Association, they were a great fit for us.

The tenants and clerks of Central Chambers are delighted to invite our friends and colleagues to join us at the dinner. Buy tickets. Buy a table. Buy a few tables, but whatever you can afford to donate will be greatly appreciated.

The tickets are £59.88 each (including processing fee). A full table is 10 places. This will include pre-dinner drinks and a fantastic meal.  You can book your ticket right here.

Smooth Edge Music

Entertainment for the night has been arranged and the fabulous Smooth Edge Music will have the dancefloor full. We look forward to announcing further special guests and we hope that, as we have done with many things over the last few years, Central Chambers will surprise you.

We will have items for auction and a raffle as part of the night’s entertainment. It is our intention to have a silent auction for some items and a live auction for extra special items we have managed to procure. Central Chambers has some great friends in business and the world of celebrity – they have been very generous for this fantastic cause.

We know there will be an eclectic mix of interests present so we will do our best to have something for everyone.

The Ballroom Bar at the Kimpton Clocktower

We know that many of our friends live some way from Manchester and we have worked with the venue to give you the option of a great stay at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. The venue will have up to 20 luxurious rooms available for the discounted rate of £229.00 (including room and breakfast). This is based on double occupancy and these rates are available until 6 weeks prior to the event. They can be booked via the hotel reservation team by quoting the event name and date.

If you are thinking of staying here or elsewhere in Manchester, early booking is advised as there is a political party conference starting the next day so rooms may be at a premium. The clerks and tenants have a great knowledge of our fine city and will no doubt be able to help you to find a place to lay your head. Manchester is certainly not short of hotels – from budget to world-class.

We know that this event will be talked about for years to come.

We have a proud history of helping charities for just over a quarter century. We have not made a huge fuss and noise about it, over the years. This event marks a bit of a change. This is going to be big and we are excited to share more details with you, closer to the time. For now, be assured that you will not want to miss this event.

To buy your tickets for yourself or for a group, please click here and just let us know how many tickets you want to reserve. Our events team will be in touch very soon.

The Care Leavers’ Association

Our Chosen Charity

The Care Leavers’ Association is a service-user-led charity established as a voice for adults who grew up in the care of the State as children. This would include placements such as residential and foster care.

Our vision, established in 2010, is for “A good life in care, a good life after care” and our mission is, “to bring together the voices of care leavers of all ages so that we improve the current care system, improve the quality of life of care leavers throughout their life and change for the better society’s perception of people who have been in care.” To this end, we are regularly in touch with thousands of care leavers linked to us through our membership and social networks. Such adults are often marginalised in our society. 

There are approximately 80,000 children in care in England, or about 0.5% of all children in the UK. Each year, about 10,000 of these young people leave care, mostly at the age of 18, in order to begin adult life. We know that the needs of such young people do not end at an arbitrary age. For this reason, we represent care leavers of all ages. There are over 400,000 adults in the UK who spent some or all of their childhood in care. Most of them entered care due to experiencing abuse or neglect within their family home. Their needs, views and interests are varied and we seek to reflect that variety in the range of our work. 

The effects of these years in care can be long-lasting. Many care leavers experience discrimination, often being seen as difficult, criminal or inadequate. This is despite less than 5% of them entering care due to their own behaviour. Many young care leavers find major barriers to successful independent adult life and older care leavers may be dealing with issues such as the effects of historic abuse and access to their childcare records.

We try to respond to needs that emerge from our daily work with care leavers but the following broad objectives have always been central to our work: 

  • Establishing virtual and actual networks of care leavers of all ages, to help overcome isolation through mutual support. 
  • Using the voices of care leavers to influence national and local policy debates and improvements to the care system. 
  • Providing advice and information to individual care leavers in need. 
  • Providing support and training to organization that work with children in care and care leavers.
  • Promoting wider understanding in society at large of the experiences and needs of younger and older care leavers. 

Our unique characteristic is our user-led perspective, which informs all we do.

We are based in Manchester. However, our charitable objectives apply to England and Wales and we have always operated nationally. Our employees engage with other organisations and support care leavers nationally and often travel throughout the UK to do so. Our reach is also international, as we work collaboratively with similar organisations throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world.

The CLA is a membership-based organisation. All care leavers over the age of 18 can join free of charge. Members can stand for election to the Board of Trustees, which contains up to 12 elected Trustees (elected for a period of three years) and three co-opted Trustees. The Board holds meetings every two months that last for a full day. Although not formally adopted, the Board follows the Carver Policy Governance Model. In practice this means that Trustees focus on ensuring that the organisation continually meets its agreed outcomes and fulfils its reason for being. The staff team are given full responsibility to focus on achieving operational targets. We operate a simple management structure with the National Director managing Project Managers who have direct responsibility for support staff. The National Director reports directly to the Board and is supervised by the Chair.

History and achievements

The CLA was formed in 2000 becoming both a charity and limited company in 2005 and slowly growing from 1.5 FTE to 6 FTE employees in 2015 and retaining 3.2 FTE at the current time. An increase in staffing in 2010 allowed us to increase the range of our activities and specialise in several areas, in some of which we have significant achievements. Since 2016 we have:

  • Worked with 80 young people and mentors to improve the care leaver transition to adulthood. 
  • Worked with 90 young people in 10 UK local authorities to enhance their voice and improve the leaving care support they receive.
  • Developed a ‘Leaving Care Guide’ which has been downloaded over 2000 times annually.
  • Supported over 200 young people directly each year.
  • Developed a Facebook group with over 900 care leavers as members.
  • Established annual Care Leaver Awards helping change perceptions and celebrate achievement.
  • Undertook a review of the health needs of care leavers as part of the reconfiguration of Greater Manchester leaving care services.
  • Worked with over 500 care leavers in criminal justice settings and influenced the Ministry of Justice to establish a ‘Care Leaver Champion’ and improve care leaver identification processes. 
  • Annually helped around 150 care leavers to access their social care file. Also, our care records access guide has been downloaded approximately 2,200 times annually.
  • Been part of a European network of care leavers developing policy to improve care leave participation in decision-making across Europe. 
  • During 2016-17, funded by the Department of Health to undertake research with care leavers, engage with 10 NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country, and established care leaver health forums in order to write a report with recommendations to improve the health of care leavers 
  • Sat on the Government Expert Working Group to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in care.

Current Projects

  • Express Yourself – an online individual and groupwork support and engagement course to develop positive mental health and provide inspiration for future growth
  • Care Leavers Connect – a webspace supporting care leavers of all ages to connect and support each other
  • Exit Project – training and supporting care leavers to be peer researchers and inputting into social care research
  • Our Care Our Say – bringing together care leavers of all ages to support them to input into the governments review of the care system
  • Bridging The Chasm – supporting care leavers in the criminal justice system through peer support groups. Working with all aspects of the criminal justice system to improve the support offered to care leavers
  • Campaigns – working with others campaigning on the following:
    • To create a new statutory instrument joining together the sentence plan and the pathway plan
    • Make it mandatory for all 16-18 year olds in care to receive care and not just support
    • Improve all accommodation offers for care leavers 16-25
    • Ensure that all care leavers receive the most appropriate mental health and wellbeing support
  • Advice and Guidance – offering email and telephone support and guidance to around 20 care leavers per week