Care leavers are to be prepared for independent living thanks to a partnership scheme between the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes.
In a joint venture with the Trust, the council and St Leger Homes are currently creating a six-bed facility out of two properties which will provide supported living where young people previously cared for through the Trust will learn valuable life skills.
Young care leavers will have their own rooms, with communal areas and a shared kitchen and the Trust will provide round the clock on-site support, as well as running a life skills programme which will include guidance around general housekeeping, healthy eating, gardening, money management and social interaction.
Currently, the Trust relies on expensive out of area placements, private supported accommodation providers and group living arrangements. The new facility will be more fit for purpose.
Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Chief Executive Paul Moffat said: “Moving into your first home can be a big challenge, especially if you’ve not been taught the skills you will need to run a home and the things you will need to do – like paying your bills on time. We wanted to give our care leavers, who may need this additional support, a safe and supportive environment that would enable them to develop the skills to live more independently and aid their transition into adulthood.
“We would like to thank the council for providing our care leavers with this home and St Leger Homes for supporting us with renovating the properties.”
The new facility is set to welcome its first residents early in 2018 and it is expected that the maximum length of stay for any young person will be roughly six to 12 months. After this period, if they are ready, the care leavers will be supported to move on and access their own tenancy.
Doncaster’s Mayor Ros Jones, said: “This is a fantastic example of working together to help young people get the life skills and support they need to make the next big step in their lives and into independent adulthood. This is a great, creative idea and underlines how Doncaster Growing Together (DGT) can make a difference to people’s lives.”
Paul Tanney, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and Doncaster Council to help deliver this exciting project. We hope that renovating these properties into something which is fit for purpose for young care leavers will assist them in getting the skills they need to access and sustain their own tenancies in the future.”
Pictured: Opening the newly renovated property for care leavers, in Cantley, Paul Rogerson, St Leger Homes, Mick Werritt, Director of Property Services - St Leger Homes, Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, Trust Chief Executive’s Young Advisors Fanso, Becci, and Mica and Chief Executive Paul Moffat and Deputy Mayor Cllr Glyn Jones, Cabinet Member for Housing and Equalities.