The idea for the Rees Foundation came about many years ago when Jan Rees and Rupert Bertie started talking about their ambitions to set up a charity for care leavers.
Rupert Bertie, Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees said:
“We were aware that care leavers were being left unsupported by local authorities and, as a result, were more likely to be homeless or involved with substance misuse or crime. We had seen lots of young people receiving ongoing support from the families who had been their foster carers and we could see how they benefitted from these continuing relationships. We felt that a charity like the Rees Foundation could do the same for those with care experience.”
Jan Rees, Founder said:
“I’ve worked with looked after young people for over thirty years and I can see that there is a need to link care leavers to other care leavers. It can be lonely out there if you do not have family to support you, to help you practically or in many other ways. We know there are some excellent schemes and organisations out there and the Rees Foundation can work with these organisations to make sure all people with care experience are looked after when they need it.”
In 2011, the idea became a reality when the first board of trustees came together to start the planning process; Andrea Warman, Sarah Milan, Jan Rees and Rupert Bertie with advisors Afshan Ahmad, Ian Thomas and Estella Abraham.
Over two years of research, discussions and planning the charity started to come together and Sarah Milan began work in April 2013. The charity was formally registered in October 2013 and, as momentum grew, Afshan Ahmad and Cameron Forester were appointed.
The Rees Foundation officially launched in October 2014.