We want to end youth homelessness and we’re tackling the problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people in Norfolk and Suffolk every night. We give them a stable home and the skills they need so they can leave us and forge an independent life.
Funded by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and supported by Norfolk County Council Public Health Department, By Your Side is an outreach service providing support for vulnerable 16-24 year olds in West Norfolk.
Kelly* was living in one of our ‘move on’ accommodations when she began to receive support through our ‘By Your Side’ service. Our ‘move-on’ flats enable young people who have lived in our accommodation centres to take the next step by giving them more independence. However, when Kelly was in need of a little extra support, By Your Side was able to step in to help.
Having been successful in bidding for a housing association property, she was due to move in within the next month but Kelly required some help budgeting for her rent and other costs. With the help of Nadia, our By Your Side Support Worker, she completed a budget sheet and applied for the Local Assistance scheme to help with the costs of a cooker, fridge freezer and some soft furnishings and other home essentials.
With the help of The Benjamin Foundation’s Young Persons Fund, which was made possible due to funds raised at our annual Sleep Out event, Kelly was able to pay for a removals van as well as some home essentials, including carpet for a bedroom. When she had moved into the new property, Nadia continued to provide intensive support to help Kelly set up her utilities and making sure her Council Tax was in place.
Kelly had previously struggled with her mental health and reported to Nadia that her mood had recently dropped again. With gentle encouragement from Nadia, she sought help from her GP. Within a few weeks and having also been signposted to a local group, which she started to attend on a weekly basis, her mood had lifted she appeared to be feeling much better. After a couple of months, Kelly felt that her situation had improved to the point that she and her partner could manage their tenancy independently and begin to move forward together.
If you’d like to learn more about By Your Side in West Norfolk, please visit: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/service/by-your-side/
*Name has been changed.
Steven Newing House opened its doors in May 2003. Since then it has accommodated nearly 200 young people.