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We would be very grateful if you would pass on this message to 16-18-year-old students to let them know about an important event.

I am sure you will be aware that an individual Child Trust Fund account was opened for almost every child born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. At the age of 16, they are allowed to take control of their account, and at 18 to access their money.

Unfortunately, very large numbers of young people are wholly unaware of the existence and whereabouts of their CTF accounts, which are being administered by a range of account providers. It is the most disadvantaged who are least aware, most often because they are either ‘addressee gone away’ or the account was never registered by the family following its opening by HMRC.

Recent feedback from account providers shows that 53% of adult CTF owners have yet to claim their accounts: in the Northern Ireland Region alone, that's already 14,000 young adults who are already at risk of losing access to their accounts, which are typically worth £1,000 or more.

The Share Foundation (www.sharefound.org) is the registered charity which runs the Child Trust Fund and Junior ISA schemes for looked-after young people for the Department for Education. We’ve set up a programme of large-scale virtual events for young people aged 16 and over, and a search process ( https://findCTF.sharefound.org ) linked to the account providers and HMRC, in order to ensure that as many as possible find their accounts. There are no charges – we just want to make the CTF scheme as effective as possible so that money set aside for young people does not end up as dormant assets.

These Zoom-based virtual events are being professionally co-ordinated, with pre-registration and recording, and they run for about half an hour. They are being arranged with lots of participation, with break-out groups which include our CTF Ambassadors – volunteers who can explain and answer questions. New videos have been produced for the events, which are also accessible on YouTube.

For full details of the events, including links to the new videos, please visit https://www.sharefound.org/ctf-virtual-events 

A virtual event will be held for young people in Northern Ireland on 26th October at 7 pm, and we are writing to all schools with sixth forms, special schools and PRUs within the region to ask them to circulate the following registration link to all young people in this age group (16 and over):

REGISTRATION LINK for the Northern Ireland Regional CTF Event:

www.sharefound.org/ni-ctfs 

We do have to limit numbers for the events, but we’ll be running them each fortnight going forwards and the registration links for other events is included in the webpage above. We’re also happy for you to use our materials in order to hold in-school events to explain the CTF scheme, and how young people can find their accounts using https://findCTF.sharefound.org   

Finally, it's also important to build our team of CTF Ambassadors: for a 1,000 young person event, 40-45 ambassadors are needed to avoid the break-out rooms becoming too full. So we would encourage teaching staff to volunteer, by registering on https://www.ctfambassadors.org.uk/  .

We do hope you can help us to re-connect as many young people as possible with their accounts over the months, and years, ahead. With best wishes Gavin Oldham OBE Chair of Trustees, The Share Foundation 01296-310400