Hello Heroes

"Grow through, what you go through."

The beginning of the Journey

After Tope, a 23-year-old care leaver, took his own life in 2010, the profound impact of his death led to the founding of the Tope Project in 2012.

Tope’s friends came together to support each other and then decided to reach out to other care leavers. Each year the group organise free events for care leavers on Christmas day to help reduce feelings of isolation & Loneliness through Christmas day events that enable socialising, great food lots of fun and most importantly creating new memories for those that would normally be alone and generally suffering in silence

Who are the heroes?

We are a team of volunteers, made up of care leavers, caring community Heroes and professionals from many third and public-sector organisations. This was the first collaborative project of its kind and it was founded by by care leavers for care leavers.

"This is about creating a space of authentic love, joy and lasting memories"

The Mission Ahead

We are a volunteer run project which comes alive in the later part of the year. As you can imagine this can be labour intensive and a lot alongside other commitments.

so we are keen to keep raising awareness of this issue, working with those who suffer with mental health & other underlying issues that often affects care leavers living independently at this time of year.

we want all corporate Parents/local Authorities to be able to provide a safe space for young care leavers who may be alone on Christmas day to have a day agenda free, filled with care , love , great food and vibes that can leave lasting positive memories.

Our motto is “turning pain into positivity”. We create a safe, welcoming space and bring people together to simply have fun, eat good food, build meaningful authentic connections and feel the love!

This is what Christmas is about!

"The power of being present is so important."

The Journey of Christmas for Care leavers

The Tope project created the UK’s first large scale Christmas Day event in 2012 for young care leavers and created a ‘How to guide’ which inspired people around the country and beyond to set up similar events. Following successful events from 2012 to 2020, this year in London, we are preparing to support around 150 young people to receive a special Christmas hamper as well as make sure they are connected to others. Although Covid-19 has impacted on our ability to physically connect we will attempt to support young people virtually, through phone calls, Zooms, letters with love, hampers and food parcels to try and see if we can strike the balance.

"This isn't a normal volunteering opportunity.

There is a powerful exchange"

Why do we do it?

When it works, care can be a haven away from an unsettled upbringing. However, once having left care, that security is swiftly taken away.

One of our founders, Jerome, who is himself a care leaver and was a close friend of Topé, describes his experiences:

“When you are living by yourself, everything is so much more difficult, and you really are alone. Generally, Care leavers can seem to be alright when you are in care, as you still have someone there and the responsibility of a local authority. But when you leave, that’s when your so-called ‘corporate parents’ disappear and you have to deal with the whirlwind of emotions alone.”

“I think that’s why my friend felt like there was no one – even when people are physically there, sometimes you don’t feel like they are, as you can become trapped in your own experience and sometimes that can create self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings.”

“The Topé Project is about giving long lasting memories the [young people] can laugh about, so you can ask how their day was and they can say ‘yeah, it was great’. Also they can think life is worth living and realise they are not alone in their experiences and many other care leavers are going through the same thing as them.”

“Our project is agenda free and about the power of time, space and human connection.”

"I may not have been here if it wasn't for this project, i was suicidal but today i felt valued as a human"

Meet The Founders

Shalyce Lawrence


Jerome Harvey-Agyei