A BRAND new charity has been launched to help care leavers in Kidderminster.

The Welland Trust been has launched to help people get affordable homes for rent - and the charity’s first five flats are being offered to care leavers in Kidderminster and Redditch.

Through the trust, founded by Bromsgrove-based Jan Rees OBE, tenants will have access to mentors who can help them to manage their tenancies and give help and support in finding employment.

Melody Douglas, chief executive of The Welland Trust said: “Research shows care leavers are at a heightened risk of homelessness and one-third become homeless within the first two years of leaving care. What’s more, over 25 per cent of the adult prison population has previously been in care.

“Through the trust, we want to support those who’ve been in care to make the transition to independent living and make sure they don’t add to these startling statistics.

“As well as helping care leavers find an affordable place to live, our team will be on hand with advice and support – whether it’s guidance on budgeting bills or writing a CV. The whole team at The Welland Trust is passionate about helping people and I am incredibly proud to lead this amazing charity.”

The trust is now welcoming applications from those on low incomes and aged over 24 to rent these properties on an Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) basis.

The Welland Trust will also be offering grants for those who are no longer eligible for state support and are particularly keen to further their education.

Potential tenants and those seeking financial assistance for further education can contact the trust to start their application or find out more at thewellandtrust.org.

The Welland Trust is the second charity to be founded by Jan Rees OBE, who has devoted more than three decades to supporting children and young people.

Her first charity, The Rees Foundation was created in 2013 and has gone from strength to strength in helping care leavers with crisis grants, peer networking, advice, advocacy and signposting.