Richard Gets Back on Track with "Astounding" Support
Our Young Person's Centre in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, contains 17 units of accommodation for single, young homeless people aged 16-25. It is a service in high demand. Our staff team work closely with all the young people helping them to bounce back from the problems that led to them becoming homeless. Each of our residents is allocated a key worker to support them on the path to becoming a confident young adult.
We heard about Richard from another young person living at the centre. They were concerned that Richard was not safe in his accommodation, and had real concerns that he was suffering and had no place to turn.
We invited Richard in so that we could signpost him to a safer alternative. Although we had no spare room at that time, we were so concerned for his safety that we immediately made a temporary space available.
Richard had previously been homeless due to a breakdown in his relationship at the age of 21. Now aged 24, he just needed a period of stability to get back on track.
"My life was hectic," Richard explains. "It was one thing after another. I had no chance to think, let alone deal with all the stuff that was going on. It all got on top of me and I had enough."
Due to the events which had taken place over the previous three years, Richard didn't know which way to turn. Having a stillborn son and his brother passing away had impacted on him greatly. On top of dealing with bereavement, he was also coping with his father, who was suffering with dementia, moving into a nursing home.
With an increasingly unsafe situation at home, instability and uncertainly about his future, Richard also found himself having to cope with anxiety.
He says "I was literally in the gutter."
Things escalated so much that, at one point, Richard even considered taking his own life. Shortly afterwards we decided to take action in order to protect him and keep him safe.
"Things happened really quickly. I went to talk to Ben, a support worker, and he was able to find me a place with The Benjamin Foundation's Aspire centre in Great Yarmouth." Richard continues.
"I felt so relieved. It was an opportunity to start getting my life back on track."
Richard was offered a place of safety at a traumatic time. Not only was he able to leave an unsafe environment but over the next six months we worked with Richard to enable him to begin to look to the future.
"I received five or six counselling sessions, which has really helped. The Benjamin Foundation also helped me to sign up to receive the benefits I was entitled to. I have even completed some courses, which is great as at my age, I had assumed that education was completely out of reach."
With the support of our Job Coach, Sharon Coggins, Richard was also able to prepare for the world of work and secured a number of job interviews as a result.
"Working with Sharon gave me motivation, encouragement and the confidence I needed. I've now been for job interviews and this week I was offered a position working for a windows firm. I also have the possibility of completing a Security Industry Authority course too."
The Benjamin Foundation's Chris Neil says "Richard always seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. His friend raised some concerns about his situation and we immediately invited him in to see if we could be of any assistance.
Richard was not in a good place - in fact we had real concerns about his welfare and his safety. As is normally the case, we had no available accommodation for Richard. This was a difficult situation as we felt that we needed to safeguard him and take him away from the harrowing situation he found himself in; so we made a temporary space available for him.
Over the past six months, Richard has used the support on offer to him and he's really progressed. The weight seems to have lifted and his future looks a lot brighter."
We helped Richard to realise that he was not alone and he is now looking forward to his future. He acknowledges that he may still need some support on occasions but in six short months he has come a very long way.
"I was in a very bad situation before, where I was constantly told I wasn't good enough. I was as low as I could go.
Now, I'm looking forward to my new job and hopefully, in the near future, my own place too and just moving forward with my life. I can't wait to eventually be debt free and start seeing my two children again soon."
Thanks to his resilience, determination and our support, Richard has grown in confidence during his stay and he now has a very positive future ahead of him.
"The Benjamin Foundation offered me security at the time I needed it. The staff treated me brilliantly – they are really great. There has always been somebody I can turn to. The support has been astounding."
"The central location of Aspire in Great Yarmouth makes it a good base for the young people to get out and about in the community, and have easy access to education, training and a social life.
These are all important elements in helping them to become more independent and preparing them to move on to the next stage of their life."
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