A YOUNG woman who is passionate about supporting young people who are in care has been commended for her volunteering.

Beth Goodliffe, 22, of Keswick Road, Staincross, volunteers with several organisations that support people who are in care or reaching adult age and leaving care.

She also volunteers for an organisation which campaigns to reduce the stigma around mental health.

Over the last two years Beth has been part of the Children in Care Council, working with Barnsley Council, where she supports young people who are coming into care or leaving care at 18.

She is also a member of the corporate parenting panel, which ensures children and young people in care are kept safe from harm and are able to have their say in overseeing the quality and effectiveness of local services, as part of improving their potential and life chances.

Beth said: “I went into care when I was 12 years old so I have first-hand experience on what it is like to go into care.

“There is a big stigma that young people who go into care do not succeed in life and they are not always given the support that they need when they turn 18. I really want to change people’s perception of this.”

In addition to working with the council, Beth is an ambassador for A National Voice (ANV), a programme run by Coram Voice for young people aged 16 to 25 with experience of being in care.

ANV empowers young care-experienced people to raise awareness and influence national policy.

Last year, Beth organised a Christmas meal for care-leavers who had nowhere to go on Christmas Day at Tankersley Manor Hotel.

She said: “Barnsley Council pledge to make sure that young people in care feel safe and protected and meet their individual needs, so I said to them if this is a pledge, they need support and to feel safe on Christmas Day.

“It took a lot of work to bring it together but I am so glad we did and everyone who attended had a wonderful time. I plan to do the same this year. It’s a difficult time leaving care and it is very easy to go down a path that doesn’t lead to positive things and I am determined to help people reach their goals and aspire to do well.”

On top of this, Beth volunteers for Chilypep (Children and Young Peoples Empowerment Project) and, as part of a group, helps to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health.

Beth said: “I am studying to be a social worker because I am passionate about change, I want to change the stereotype that people have of care leavers and I want to help those in care raise their ambition.

“Statistically on six per cent of care leavers go to university.

“I want that to change and the needs of those in care need to be met by their local authority.”

Her passion to help those in care voluntarily has seen her nominated for a Young Champions award.

Davina Sands, who nominated Beth said: “Beth is an enthusiastic young adult who volunteers with multiple organisations and goes above and beyond in how she commits to each role.

“She shows full effort and passion for everything she takes part in and her commitment will be a lifelong career because of what she is studying and the career she wishes to take.

“She deserves recognition for her commitment and passion to hep others.”