Help them achieve their aspirations.

We are a unique local charity that exists to make a difference to the lives of our young people looked after, by helping them create the future they want and deserve.

We believe in every child and their right to dream big and achieve their aspirations.

Join us and be part of what we do.

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Join us today and make a difference

    About us

    We believe every child has equal right to dream, to discover, to learn.

    We work to improve the skills, career and employment outcomes for children and young people looked after in Liverpool. What we do is different because we put these young people at the heart of our mission, enabling their input, listening to their views, understanding their needs, with a firm-held belief in the right of every child to dream, aspire, reach and achieve.

    We build strong and effective relationships with organisations from across the business community as well as the public sector, academic and charitable organisations that share our vision. We identify and develop work placement, apprenticeship, learning and mentoring opportunities to help our young looked after people discover how to move forward, to determine their chosen career path or to continue into further and higher education.

    We put in place ‘wrap around’ support for as long or a little as they need it, and at their pace. We embed within our partner organisations an understanding of the challenges and complexities that many looked after young people face. We complement this with training for workplace mentors who will support our young people while they are with them.

    Ultimately we want our young people to be given the same chances as any other young person to find a career and employment, to find purpose and direction that ultimately enables them to live an effective and independent life as citizens of our great city.

    About me

    A poem

    Meet the team

    Gary Millar

    CEO, Cornerstones Foundation

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    Dr Tony Lloyd

    Trustee and Chief Executive of the ADHD Foundation

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    Steve Reddy

    Trustee and Director of Children's Services, Liverpool City Council

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    Rebecca Ross-Williams

    Trustee and Creative Director, Liverpool Lighthouse

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    James Shaw

    Trustee and Head of Partnerships, Agent

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    Marcus Magee

    Trustee and General Manager, Hilton Liverpool

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    Emma Carey

    Trustee and Managing Partner, MSB Solicitors

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    Peter Oliver

    Trustee and Director, Redesign-x

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    Jason Woodcock

    Trustee and Education Officer, Virtual School Liverpool

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    "We've got something to say!"

    Our Youth Board puts the ‘voice’ of looked after people at its heart because it's a charity that 'works with' rather than 'does to'. They help make sure the Foundation is doing the right things in the right way at the right pace. They ensure the views and voices of children and young people looked after are heard, loud and clear. They play a vital role and have a seat at the table to influence and advise. Without knowing what looked after children and young people need, without understanding their world and putting the right things in place, the work of the Foundation simply won’t deliver the right results.

    "We have a role to play"

    The Youth Board works alongside, and in collaboration with, the Cornerstones Foundation Trustees Board. They are key stakeholders who actively influence, inform and assist the decision-makers at the charity and their partners, so that the things the Foundation is looking to do and make happen are exactly the right things to help and support young people looked after.

    Working together

    The young people on our Youth Board help businesses and other organisations to see the world they live in from their perspective. We all have a responsibility to understand what our young people want and what needs to be put in place to help them walk this important path at this critical stage in their young lives, regardless of whether that journey takes them to a workplace, college or university.

    Our Youth Board

    We have 12 young people who have come together to form our Youth Board, each of them with a story to tell, and many with experiences that we ourselves would find difficult to overcome. But these are resilient young people who have developed 'special' skills and strengths. They have so much to offer and they want to be able to make better decisions about their futures. The Youth Board will act as ambassadors for the Foundation, engaging directly with businesses, enabling them to actively influence the views of business leaders and politicians in this city. Only the young people themselves have the credibility to tell it how it is. We have the responsibility to listen, hear and act.

    Research and resources

    Here you will find a range of information and research about looked after children and young people in the care system. There's a lot of information available , much of it produced by organisations and academics.

    However here you will also find resources produced for and by looked after children and young people. We think these resources are more relevant and important than anything else you will read.

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    What we offer

    Our young people deserve the same opportunities as their peers. But they need some extra help. Some may not realise their potential or even know what they want their future to look like. They can't see how to get from where they are now to where they want to be. Others will have their future mapped but need support and resources to help make their ideas a reality, support that’s designed specifically with their needs in mind and goes at their pace. That's where we come in. We have developed our ‘World of Work’ programme which looks to help young people determine their future career and put in place the stepping stones to help them get there. Our programme will identify a wide range of apprenticeships, work placements and further education across an extensive range of employment. We will work with partners to match a young person's career ambition with a work or learning opportunity and then, through work-based mentors, support them every step of the way.

    Releasing potential

    Our young people will have the opportunity to undertake a range of developmental opportunities and to get involved in exciting projects and new experiences. There will be a course available specially designed to prepare them for employment that will also provide them with an accredited qualification. We will offer opportunities for them to actively participate in with some really innovative projects which will expose them to marketing, design, manufacturing and production processes. They will be required to attend and, in some cases, lead business meetings and to contribute to decision-making discussions. We offer unique young people some great opportunities to work with some unique individuals, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

    World of Work

    We are well-connected to a wide range of public and private sector organisations, including further/higher education, committed to provide work placement, apprenticeship and learning opportunities for our young people, supported by mentors. Our World of Work programme enables us to offer a complete package of skills development, training and support which is structured around the needs of each individual young person, based on their career aspirations and a future they dream about. We have a number of really innovative and exciting projects in the pipeline, offering a more creative and inclusive approach. We want to help our young people develop to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.


    Our business partners provide work-based mentors to help, guide and support the young person during their apprenticeship or placement. This allows the young people starting out in their careers to tap into the wealth of expertise of their work-based mentor, ensuring that knowledge and experience flows down from those that have it, to those that need it. We provide training for the work-based mentors so they are able to understand the challenges, complexities and often the stigma facing young looked after people and to be effective in providing the support and help they need. This is part of the wrap-around package available for each young person participating in our World of Work programme. It provides a clear and flexible framework within which both the businesses and young people can work, confident that there is additional support and advice available if needed.

    Establishing a legacy that will last

    Our World of Work programme will develop a self-sustaining legacy with our business partners that will last for years to come. By investing in specialist training for the work-based mentors, we are developing a wider understanding of the life experiences of young looked after people, to help them express what it is they need in order to move forward, and to ensure the outcomes are successful for all involved. We can change attitudes, we see equal value in everyone, we can enable independent lives. Ultimately the legacy effect will create a better way of enabling young people to be, live and work independently, that will evolve in years to come and continue to create a positive impact for each successive generation of young looked after people.

    Who we work with

    We collaborate with some inspirational businesses leaders and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference to the lives of our young people looked after.  Some have walked the same path, face similar challenges on their own life journeys and who are keen and willing to support us and our World of Work programme.

    You can help our charity by –

    Connecting – linking our work as part of your workforce planning and create work placements, apprenticeships and mentoring opportunities for our young people and your employees.
    Contributing – your time, dedication and commitment to the work of our charity and also aligning it to your organisation’s CSR
    Communicating – keeping in touch with us, championing the charity’s aims and sharing the news about the work we do for the children of our city.

    If you’d like to join us please complete the online form and we’ll be in touch.

    Get Involved

    We want to work with organisations that share our vision.  If you’re interested in working with us to help us offer our children and young people looked after future they deserve, then please get in touch.

    The Cornerstones Foundation

    If you are interested in supporting our World of Work programme or in any other way, you can talk to us.

    Donate today