Linden House: Investing in Young People
Funded by Norfolk County Council Children's Services, Linden House in Norwich provides a home and support for young people aged 16-18 years. Staff are on duty 24 hours a day and everyone has their own keyworker who is a qualified and experienced member of staff who works with each young person and their Social Worker.
Keen to break stigmas about the young people they support, the staff at Linden House are passionate about helping them to find a better path in life. This isn’t without challenges. The Linden House team explain that the needs of the young people are high level, varying and complex often through no fault of their own.
“Many have been in the children’s services system for years.” Steve Parker, Manager of Linden House explains.
“Some may have been struggling with bereavement, family breakdowns, mental illness of their own or their family, drug abuse of their parents or family members - or combinations of these and other complex issues. Often they will come to us following many years of rejection and challenges, so we work very hard to build their trust and that can take time.”
Linden House provides support and accommodation for five young people which includes a ‘move on’ flat; this offers more independence for one young person at a time to prepare for life away from Linden House. With a large kitchen, conservatory dining area, lounge and garden, young people are encouraged to spend time engaging with staff and each other. Watching TV or cooking together isn’t just an opportunity to become more social or to learn new skills, but it can trigger conversations.
“There can be many years of rejection and complexities to unravel.” Steve says.
The experiences of rejection on top of the other issues that they may be trying to cope with can leave scars, which may manifest in certain behaviours including anger and aggression.
Steve continues “They will make mistakes, but we trust them and praise them whenever we can as it helps to build their self-esteem. We invest in these young people.”