Could you open your heart and your home to a young person in need? 

We are looking for local people to open their heart and their home to become a Host with our ‘Heart and Home’ supported lodgings service. If you can offer a bedroom, support, and understanding to a young person and provide them with stability as they take their next steps to independence, we would love to hear from you.

Hosts can continue with all their usual/daily commitments and activities and we welcome applications from all backgrounds. Support payments, full training and ongoing guidance provided. The impact on young people as they take their next steps to independence can be life-changing. Destiny is just one young person who has benefited from the support of a Host and The Benjamin Foundation, she explains a little about the positive impact our charity and her Host has had on her and her young son:

“My name is Destiny and I’m 18 years old. I came to live with my Host from The Benjamin Foundation’s Heart and Home service 14 months ago after my foster placement broke down. The Host lived in a seaside town in Norfolk that was remote to where my friends and family were and initially I didn’t want to be there. I felt like I wanted to be more independent with my baby son. However, my situation was complex and my options were limited.

I struggled to settle in and would spend all my time in my room with my son and keep myself to myself. Looking back now, my Host would continually check on our health and well-being and pass on any concerns – much to my annoyance at the time, but I can see now that she was only had our best interests at heart and thank her for being so patient with me.

My weeks consisted of weekly support sessions with Erica, my Support Worker. She was amazing and just understood! We clicked; she just knew what to do and she supported me to improve and guide me with my daily living skills. I would spend a lot of time in my room and would rarely venture out, but I would go out with Erica shopping and sometimes to a baby group, which we enjoyed. Sometimes we would just go for coffee and a catch up.

Erica also helped me with sorting out and receiving all the benefits that I was entitled to, even getting this backdated. When Erica moved to a different service with The Benjamin Foundation, I was allocated another Support Worker. We didn’t gel in the same way and I avoided attending sessions, so another member of the team took on the role of my Support Worker and after a difficult start, we did end up getting along really well!

I was already very independent and my Host allowed me to grow and improve on daily life skills and she would support me with my son. She helped and supported me with my driving theory test and would look after my son while I was completed driving lessons. She would always ensure I was included when friends and family came around to visit.

I returned to college while in placement as I would like to go to Uni to complete a degree in Social Work so I’m currently doing a Health and Social Care access course.

I would say the highlights of my time in placement would be when my Host and I celebrated our birthdays with a BBQ inviting all our friends and family, and also Christmas of 2022 as I knew 2023 would see me and my son moving into our 1st home together. This made me very happy as I would finally be independent and taking with me all the advice, guidance and support of my Host and The Benjamin Foundation Heart and Home Support Workers. Moving into my new home was exciting and just wanted everything done right away, however I know this is not the case and I’m looking forward to getting my carpets laid tomorrow!

The Benjamin Foundation also offer a Tenancy Support Service – and I knew I wanted some support in this respect. Also, Erica was on the team and would support me with my home set-up and guide me through setting up my utilities and accessing the cheapest tariffs to maximise my income. Erica was great and also offered me some energy support for my meter and a move-on grant to purchase some home comforts. I recently got confirmation that I have been successful in an application to be a Home Care Worker and I’m extremely happy to be going back to work!

I still have contact with my host and her family and hope to visit occasionally. The future I hope will see me passing my driving test and completing my course. I will then begin University to complete my education and hopefully become a Social Worker. I also hope to complete my training to begin work in February.

I would definitely recommend people become Hosts with The Benjamin Foundation to give more young people a chance to become independent and be themselves. It allows the Host to still live their lives, but living with my Host has been a stepping stone for me and my son, and it would be nice to think that others can appreciate someone being patient with them and allowing them to be themselves.”

Could you open your heart and your home to a young person in need?

Contact our Heart and Home team for an informal chat about becoming a Host on 01603 886930 or email [email protected] for further information

Quote Marks Left It demonstrates the strength of the service and the care and compassion of the team and Hosts who make the service such a success.

Matt Garrod, Director of Operations

Quote Marks Right