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 safe and stable home and the skills they need so they can leave us and forge an independent life.
Hannah*, age 16, has been living at The Hub, one of our accommodation centres in King’s Lynn for three months following a period in foster care.
“I had never been in care before so I didn’t know how the system worked. It felt strange being in somebody else’s home.” Hannah explains.
The Hub was opened in August 2012 in partnership with Norfolk County Council Children’s Services. Each resident has their own bedroom and there is a communal lounge and kitchen. The staff team provides 24/7 support and can help each resident at The Hub with school, college work, or to find work, training opportunities and cope with issues in their personal life. They will help build confidence and work on life skills, such as cooking, shopping and budgeting money, to prepare the young person for independence.
Moving to The Hub has enabled Hannah to feel more settled and at home.
“It feels welcoming. I have a connection with staff; I ask more questions and feel more relaxed here.”
Hannah says she has learned a lot in the last few months, including skills which will assist her as she prepares for independence.
“I’ve learned how to wash up, use a washing machine, and cook – I’d never cooked before.”
She reflects on how far she has come in just a few months:
“Before coming to The Hub, I couldn’t handle myself. I was going off the rails all the time and I was very angry. But since being at The Hub, I’ve started to recognise things about myself, like my emotions and I have learned to talk about them with staff members.”
Hannah continues: “I will hopefully be here until I’m 18. This is the best place I could be – I’d rather be here than anywhere else.”
*Name has been changed.
When I see the progress that a young person is making as a result of our sessions I feel a real sense of achievement.