Heart and Home Supported Lodgings
Do you have a heart and a home?
We are looking for people in Norfolk and Suffolk who can offer a spare room but who are also supportive, tolerant and understanding.
Heart and Home, our supported lodgings service, offers accommodation to vulnerable young people who are in need of stability, security and a place to live. This is somewhere they can start to learn important life skills, which will help them on their way to independence.
We have a network of hosts in Norfolk and Suffolk who offer a bedroom, support, tolerance and understanding to a young person. Many young homeless people, particularly 16 and 17 year olds, benefit far more from a home-like environment and the support of a family or individual than from a more formal hostel environment.
We are always keen to hear from people interested in becoming a host so please contact us if you'd like to know more.
The characteristics of supported lodgings are:
The Young Person: is aged 16 or over and is currently in care or leaving care, perhaps looking for a 'next step' from foster care or a residential Children's Home. All referrals come via Children's Services and we always meet with each young person to talk about their preferences and support needs to assist us with 'matching' them to the right household.
The Accommodation: is a furnished bedroom in a domestic house with use of WC, bathing, cooking and laundry facilities as a member of the household.
The Host: is a resident full time in the property but pursues their own lifestyle (including daily routine, absence at work, holidays and weekends away). The Host will provide a home-like environment and domestic routine consistent with the young person engaging in education, employment or training, including the provision of some meals (to be agreed within placement). The Host will need to establish an appropriate and consistent personal relationship with the young person.
The Manager: manages, develops and oversees the service and is available to provide advice, guidance and support to the young person and to the Host.
The Placement Coordinator: will provide regular advice, guidance and support and training to the Host.
The Support Worker: will meet and communicate with the young person regularly, undertake assessment of the young person's needs, develop a plan and address the needs and aspirations identified.
Payments: the Host will receive support payments from The Benjamin Foundation whilst a young person is staying with them.
The Host will receive comprehensive training in Safeguarding issues and will also go through our induction course.
Support is tailored to each young person's needs covering the following areas: Accommodation, work and learning, people and support, health, how you feel, choices and behaviour, money and rent, and practical life skills .
Could you open your home – and your heart – to a young person in need of a place to live? If the answer is yes then contact us today.
Meet the team
Meet the team - Norfolk
Meet the Team - Suffolk
Suffolk Placement Coordinator
Suffolk Support Worker
Suffolk Placement Coordinator
Heart and Home: Anisha and Julie's Story
Feedback from Host's & Young People
Feedback from a Host:
"I have been able to teach *Molly* how to cook, budget, clean, how to do basic car maintenance, fix a wood burner, plant tulips and make things out of driftwood. In exchange Molly has shown me a fresh approach to life with a surprising enthusiasm that teenagers aren't renowned for! With a bit of encouragement she is doing well at college and has two part time jobs. I helped teach her to drive and the pride i felt when she passed her test was worth every hairy moment hiccuping down the roads! If I've needed advice or support The Benjamin Foundation team have only been a phone call away but there hasn't been any major problems.
Molly has lived with me now for nearly a year and she's become a really important part of my family. Even as she grows older and as she now plans to move into a private rented accommodation place of her own close by, i hope we're still going to be part of each other's lives. It's not all easy but it is one of the best things I've ever done. If you have a spare room and a bit of spare time you can make a huge difference to someone."
"It is so comfortable having him here, he has just slotted into our family life so well. I have seen a real difference in *Tom* now that Heart and Home have become involved. He is a lot more settled generally and happier. We have gained another member of our family and it has really brought us all together as a family. My son and daughter class themselves as having another brother. He has somewhere he can call home, somewhere he fits in and he has security and a family around him."
From Young People:
"There's always help if needed, it's safe and secure. My cooking skills have improved a lot, as well as my budgeting." - David*
"I love it here it's completely different to anywhere I've been before. I have a 'proper family' now. We all have fun and have a laugh, although i do have to help out with the others with housework too because we are all treated equally. I really like the way Heart and Home discuss the ground rules with you too and take your views into account. That hasn't happened before." - Sophie*
"I feel I'm a happier person in general. When bad things used to happen i used to get really down but now i can talk to my host and my support worker and we get things sorted out." - Tom*
"Everyone at The Benjamin Foundation and my host have been very supportive and understanding. I like the relationship i now have with my support worker and feel i can confide in her if i need to which is what you look for in a support worker. They've all helped me achieve things and encouraged me to go into further education and even came with me to interviews and appointments." - Marie*
*All names have been changed.