CARE experienced young people, Councillors and council staff, planted a tree together outside County Hall last week, to represent Devon County Council's (DCC) ongoing commitment to supporting young people in its care.

More than 30 people, including Devon care leavers, Chairman, Leader, Cabinet Member for children’s services, other Members, Chief Executive and Head of service, planted a Rowan tree to symbolise DCC's work with care experienced young people to create the best possible support.

It’s part of a national project, called ‘Positivitree’, organised by the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum, which plans to plant trees with local authorities across the country. We were one of the first!

DCC have been doing a lot of work with care experienced young people to improve its support, listening more to what young people tell the council about their experience of the care system, and doing more to make improvements.

Twenty four year old Koda is one of the care experienced young people at the tree planting. She said: 'Things have got so much better since I was 18. Six years ago, things were bad, but now it’s actually pretty decent.

'While I won’t benefit much from any further improvements myself, it’s good to see Devon committing to making things even better for young people who’ve been in the care system.'

Donna Manson, Chief Executive, said: 'We are determined to make Devon the best place to grow up.

'A significant part of that is to continue to improve the support and services that we provide to all of our care experienced young people.

'This tree represents that commitment.

'It symbolises our dedication to creating an environment where our care experienced young people can grow, thrive, and achieve their fullest potential.'