Earlier this year, St Basils entered into a contract with Worcestershire County Council to provide a ‘Supported Lodgings’ scheme across Worcestershire, recruiting members of the local community to help young care leavers learn the skills to be independent by lodging in their homes.
The scheme has received a lot of interest but we are still in need of more applications from caring people living in Worcestershire in order to help the number of local young people in need of support.
The scheme aims to provide a stepping stone for young care leavers generally aged 16-18 but the service is offered up to the age of 21. The scheme recruits ‘Hosts’ from all walks of life who have a spare room and want to make a difference to vulnerable young people by providing accommodation and support to a young person within their home for an agreed amount of time.
Due to leaving care or other issues, these young people don’t yet have the necessary knowledge and skills to live on their own successfully. The scheme aims to recruit hosts who can provide encouragement and guidance to enable them to develop the practical skills and confidence needed to make the leap to independent living. This means they can move on in a planned way thus helping to prevent ‘crisis’ situations or homelessness.
In return, hosts receive a support package which includes training and social activities and a weekly financial contribution of £120, however fundamentally the desire to help young people needs to be apparent in order for applications to be considered.
Julie from Kidderminster has already applied for the scheme. She said:
“I’ve been in Care work for 20 years and was considering fostering. My girls have grown up now and moved out and I miss having a busy household. This is a good way to help young people that are not like children, entirely dependent, but still need some help. It’s a good way of doing something I enjoy! Because I know from my work that you get such a buzz when you see that person develop and move on, get their own place, get a job. The reward you get, that it’s you that’s helped them move on with their lives, that’s an amazing feeling!”
St Basils has also been running a similar scheme in Birmingham since 2010: Birmingham Host testimonials.
Subject to CRB checks, St Basils is now recruiting caring Hosts from across the Worcestershire area. To find out more please ring Shelley Stanley, Worcestershire Home2Home Co-ordinator on 01527 572058 or email email@example.com.
Updated August 2012