Home is where the Heart is…

Stuart Haden - Investing In Children

When Stuart Haden joined Investing in Children he initiated a revolutionary approach to children’s care homes.

Stuart was brought up in the care system from the age of three; his mum an addict, his father abroad. “I got moved from care home to care home, to foster placements, getting beat up – all the horrible stories you hear happened to me in some shape or form.” – Stuart

Stuart joined the Armed Forces then went on to work up the ranks in business, running a major Plc with 2000 employees, setting up his own successful businesses.

There’s a huge representation of kids with care experience in the prison and the homelessness populations, so we know about the universal poor outcomes for children who grow up in the care system, If we can create stability for young people, you create the possibility of them going on to be successful adults and citizens.

Unlike local authorities, Invest in Children will give these young people a base when they’re going to university, helping out with driving lessons, the key milestones in their life up until the age of 25 and after. Rather than being identified as a problem or a challenge, we’re going to say you have skills and abilities, and experiences that will make a difference to other people’s lives.

Key Fund invested £125k loan and £25k grant and introduced Unity Trust Bank to provide a mortgage, allowing them to purchase a 10-bed property in Sunderland.

“I was surprised how difficult it was to get funding because we’d pulled together a business plan, it all stacked up, the numbers made sense but the traditional commercial funders weren’t interested, there were lots of barriers in place that made it unviable.

I got introduced to Key Fund, who came out, liked what they saw, believed in it and made it so simple from then on.

The Key Fund have held our hand all the way through it, they’re absolutely fantastic and we could not have done it without them.” – Stuart Haden, Co-Director

Investing Stuart 5

Jade was born addicted to heroin. After leaving the hospital’s methadone programme for babies, she was taken away from her mother and went to live with her grandma.

Jade - Director

Aged 11, she went into the care system.
“I’ve always had a relationship with my dad but he was in and out of prison my entire life.
Social services got in touch with him and in the middle
of an assessment to have me live with him, he was killed. He was stabbed. I was 12.”

A youth worker then got her involved with Investing in Children.
Jade did a six month placement, and now volunteers, but was also appointed a Director to advise on the set up of the new children’s home. Thanks to Jade, the new children’s home will have a policy of no police intervention.

“All it takes is genuine care, and they care. If I have something wrong in my life, I sit and talk to the team and you can talk and have a cry. I went through
something horrible last year, and if it wasn’t for them I don’t know where
I’d be now. Most people who go through what I went through take drugs or drink to escape. I didn’t. I stayed on the right track and now, a year later, I’m going to university in September.” – Jade