Anchorage is one of our housing services for young people in Great Yarmouth. We work with the private landlord sector to provide safe and affordable accommodation, and to offer more opportunities to help local young people move confidently along their journey to independence.

The service supports young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 in shared accommodation in the town. Once a young person has moved into our houses, we support them with their tenancy, finding work and personal development to move them closer to independence. For young adults who are ready to move on from hostel accommodation, this could be the pathway to securing their own home.

Libby* age 24 has been supported by our Anchorage service for the last year after finding herself homeless during the pandemic. This is her story about how we have supported her during this time.

“Since moving in with The Benjamin Foundation’s Anchorage service almost a year ago there has been notable improvement in many aspects of my life.

Firstly, prior to my residency I was homeless, living in a hotel temporarily through the Covid pandemic and unable to return to my family house due to an unhealthy living environment. I now have a stable roof over my head, I have a bedroom I feel safe in and I have a house I can call my home.

I have been presented with an opportunity to be assisted into finding my own accommodation at the end of my two year tenancy – to which I am counting down the days! I never would have been able to make this transition into my own property by myself.

My relationship with my mum has significantly improved since living here; there is enough distance between us now for us both to improve and get on with our own lives. I used to provide care for my mum whilst I lived in her house, so the transition of my no longer living there was a difficult one for us both. I have since gained the mental strength and the ability to say ‘no’ through having one to one support from my Support Worker and so have also gained a sense of freedom. My mum’s life has greatly improved since my not being there, as she has had no other choice than to care for herself; she has gained her independence back! And this brings me so much joy.

The ability to say no has not only helped me not only with my family life but also my social life too. I am learning to put my own needs and wants before other peoples’ and taking a positive step away from my habitual role of a ‘people pleaser’ I have gained the confidence and inner strength to make this journey through living and working with Anchorage.

My physical health has improved massively! Mainly due to the fact my views of food and diet have totally changed. My physical fitness has always been good, though I have struggled with food and had many issues surrounding eating from my early teens. Despite having gone to diet specialists and having in-depth discussions regarding my eating habits with every therapist I have seen in the past – nothing changed for over 10 years. I ate to keep me alive; because I had to, not because I wanted to. Meals times bought about so much dread and anxiety I avoided it at all costs, and to cook for myself was a despised, impractical, time consuming chore. In less than one year my entire view on food has changed! I love the thought of healing my mind, body and spirit with the correct nutrition! It is a slow process, though I am gradually broadening my horizons. I am so much more willing to try different things – I am no longer fearful of food, instead I look forward to the possibilities of what I could prepare and eat.

My mental health is an ongoing battle and has been for many years. I have received amazing guidance and from my Support Worker through weekly visits, phone contact, and various dealings with the entire team. I have never had this type of support network before and it has made my life so much easier in my times of need. I have fallen into crisis multiple times since being here, and each time I have reached out for help I have received it instantly.

I am so grateful for every member of staff that works for The Benjamin Foundation Anchorage service – you really have changed my life!”

*Name has been changed.

To help more local young people like Libby to finally feel hopeful of a better future, please make a donation here: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/donate/

Quote Marks Left I've intervened to try to change one person's life. If everybody did that it would make a profound difference.

Heart and Home Host

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