After a busy year that included a complete rebrand, a bright new name, raising funds and supporting ever more local children and young people, the team at Brightly is ready to take on 2019 and to continue their work.
Formerly known as Brig-y-Don Children’s charity, Brightly supports children who are being looked after in States care, leaving care, or foster care, from their birth to 25 years, as well as others who are suffering adversity and are in need.
The charity aims to create positive experiences and opportunities for these children and young people and to help them towards independence.
All the money raised by Brightly either stays in Jersey for the benefit of islanders or is used for local children and young people who have to be cared for out of the island.
For Express, they have written about their year and what they look most forward to for 2019.
In May, Brig-y-Don Children’s Charity rebranded itself and is now known as ‘Brightly’ to reflect changes and to ensure the public understand the breadth of the support we now provide.
Our annual funding raising event, which was held at the Watersplash in July, was a huge success and helped to raise the fantastic sum of £12,000.
This year we have supported 72 children and young people who were either in care or care leavers and their children with vouchers for Christmas from an outlet of their choice and a small gift set.
We were very lucky as one of the business who supports us covered the cost of all the gifts. We also received a large number of vouchers for Pizza Express, ice skating, Jersey Zoo, etc., along with some food hampers which the children and young people will be able to enjoy over the coming months.
Given that fundamentally Brightly is here to help Jersey’s most vulnerable children and young people the major achievement is that year-on-year those we are supporting has increased significantly. Last year, we helped 263 children and young people with 419 disbursements. To date in 2018, we have made 585 disbursements.
Pictured: The number of people the charity is supporting increases every year.
We seek to provide those we help with the kind of opportunities and support their peers, living in a stable family environment, may well take for granted; things like a place at a nursery school, a holiday, some new clothes, help with setting up their first home, etc. The transition to adulthood for young people who have lived in care can be difficult. The support we offer to those leaving care helps them to move towards independence.
The States are legally responsible as ‘corporate parent’ for those in care. Apart from providing food and shelter for their offspring, loving parents also provide innumerable intangible benefits within their family – an invisible safety net of love and nurturing, which generates a knowledge, within the child, that there is someone always there for them, promoting them and their best interests.
Pictured: Brightly wants to help enrich the lives of vulnerable children and young people.
For a child in the care system (however well run) this feeling of well-being and unconditional support/love is usually absent from their experience. Instead, they are often subject to feelings of ‘otherness’ and isolation. People with experience of care often report not feeling loved, not belonging, being stigmatized and not being heard.
Brightly will continue to enrich the lives of vulnerable children and young people by supporting them through difficult times, identifying and addressing their unmet needs and thereby restoring their self-confidence, trust in those around them as they mature, and grow.
As the States are the key player in our sector we will endeavour to forge and maintain a professional and collaborative working relationship with them. We will also continue to work effectively in partnership with other charities to help us to maximise our contribution, identify gaps and avoid duplication.
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