Like most charities, the effect of COVID-19 has been hard-hitting. While some of our services and our shops have closed temporarily, our work to prevent local youth homelessness does not stop. Our colleagues are delivering front-line, essential services to over 100 local, vulnerable young people each day, each night, 365 days a year, giving them a safe place to live, support and the skills they need to forge independent lives.
Support Worker Claire from Forward Court, our accommodation centre for young people in Aylsham, explains how the residents are adapting to life during COVID-19 and how the local community continues to support them:
“We have been doing our best at Forward Court to keep our residents engaged and up to date with all the important information coming out. We have moved our usual house meetings out to the courtyard where all residents can sit at a safe distance whilst we can give out information and respond to their questions.
I have also been doing quizzes from the courtyard for the residents who can sit in their doorways and shout me the answers!
On the morning we had to announce the lockdown to residents, I distributed arts and craft materials provided by the Young Person’s Fund (created by some of the money raised at our Sleep Out events) to support the residents in isolation to look after their mental health.”
The residents are looking forward to the time when they will be able to resume their volunteering and work placements and until then, Forward Court continues to receive fantastic support from the local community:
“We are continuing to link in with our local community. The local churches have set up an excellent community response in Aylsham and have worked extra hard to assist our residents in accessing vital food during this very difficult time whilst the normal Foodbank services are closed. We are very grateful to them and all of our neighbours in Aylsham for making this such a comforting community to be a part of. We have posted a message in our front window to show our appreciation.”
Steven Newing House opened its doors in May 2003. Since then it has accommodated nearly 200 young people.