How you can help a young person to finally feel at home

Could you open your heart and your home to give young people stability and a safe place to live?

We provide a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people every night, working throughout Norfolk and Suffolk to prevent youth homelessness and give young people who haven’t had the best start in life opportunities to take their next steps towards leading successful independent lives. Forming part of this vital work is a network of Hosts, who are trained and supported by us to provide a bedroom, support, tolerance and understanding to young people, who are usually age 16-18 with the option to stay on post 18, in the Hosts’ own homes.

We are now reaching out to local people to fill Host vacancies within our ‘Heart and Home’ service in order to provide more young people with stability, a safe place to live and to help them learn life skills, such as cooking, shopping and budgeting their money.

Frances* has been a Host with The Benjamin Foundation since July 2020. She says: “I work with a lot of vulnerable young people. Sadly, I’ve seen the effects an unstable or difficult home life can have on their self-esteem, confidence and ability to engage with work, education, friendships. I knew I had a lot of love and care to give someone, so becoming a Host with The Benjamin Foundation seemed a natural choice. I wanted to give young people a chance.”

Many young people benefit far more from this home-like environment and the support of a family or individual than from a busier environment alongside lots of peers. Working closely with Hosts, other agencies and local authorities, this vital support helps young people to finally feel at home, safe and hopeful of a better future, and The Benjamin Foundation has seen many young people thrive as a result

The Benjamin Foundation Heart and Home Manager, Claire Overton says: “The pandemic and lockdown has given people the opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the comfort and safety of their home. There may be many people who would like do more to help those who do not have the same security or opportunities as others. We are keen to talk to anyone who would be willing to open their heart and their home to give young people stability and help them on their way to a brighter future.”

Frances continues: “Becoming a Host with The Benjamin Foundation is a wonderful, life-changing experience. It has really opened my mind to the pressures facing young people. It’s a privilege to be able to be involved in helping someone who has not had the easiest of starts in life and helping them to be the best expression of themselves possible. Hosting a young person has enriched my life with love, fun, laughter, knowledge of different food, music, dances, games, culture and I would not swap this for the world!”

Full training and support is given to successful applicants, as well as support payments. Please contact The Benjamin Foundation Heart and Home team on 01603 886930 or email heartandhome@benjaminfoundation.co.uk today to enquire how you can make a difference to a young person’s life.

*Name has been changed

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