Date Published: 

Mon, 11/02/2019

Bath & North East Somerset Council is looking for people to provide supported lodgings for 16-21 year olds who are homeless or leaving care.

Since its launch 18 years ago, more than 300 young people have been provided with a home through the Supported Lodgings scheme in Bath and North East Somerset. Through the scheme young people rent a room in a stable family home for up to three years. The Supported Lodging Provider helps them to learn the skills they need to live independently, from cooking and washing to managing money.

To be eligible for supported lodgings the young person will normally be in education, employment or training.

‘Sarah’ from Keynsham has provided supported lodgings for three young people over the past two years. The 52-year-old, said after her children left home, rather than just renting out a room she and her husband wanted to do something more meaningful.  “Not every young person is lucky enough to stay in a home that’s stable, for whatever reason, and we really wanted to make a difference to young people’s lives. It has been challenging in all sorts of ways, but it’s wonderful to see a young person’s confidence grow and they leave us far more aware of the choices and opportunities available to them.

 “To hear that a person has felt love in our house and that they truly feel we will always be there for them, even when they’ve moved on with their lives, is incredibly rewarding,” she said.

 Lodging Providers can come from all backgrounds, be of any religion or any cultural background. The relationship status or sexuality of a Lodgings Provider is not a barrier. No particular qualifications are required but you do need some skills and most importantly you should want to make a difference to a young person’s life.

‘Jason’ moved into supported lodgings after leaving foster care.  After 18 months living as part of the family he says he now feels ready to cope on his own. Jason, who is now 20, said: “When I left foster care I wasn’t ready to live on my own. Eighteen  months on I feel much more confident.  I can now manage bills, budget and take care of myself. I tried to learn as much as I could from the family I was living with and I now feel ready for life and what it can offer me. I’m so grateful for the support I was given.”  

To become a provider you must:

·         get on with teenagers and enjoy their company

·         be warm, caring and patient

·         be resilient

·         have a good understanding of the issues facing young people and be prepared to be an advocate for them. 

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic & Community Regeneration, said: “Supported Lodgings is a fantastic stepping stone for young people who don’t have the confidence to live independently.  It’s not for everyone, but you can really make a difference to a young person’s life by providing them with a stable home, supporting them and helping them prepare for the transition to an independent future.”

Supported Lodgings Providers are fully assessed and are required to provide references and undergo health and criminal background checks. Homes are also inspected to ensure they are safe and secure.

In return for providing accommodation and support to a young person, Bath & North East Somerset Council pays weekly rent and support costs starting at £160 per week. Additionally the council gives a council tax discount for B&NES residents.

Regular training, support and supervision is provided by an allocated Social Worker to help deal with some of the issues facing young people.

If you are interested in becoming a Supported Lodgings Provider, please contact us for further information on 01225 395023 or email supported_lodgings@bathnes.gov.uk.

ENDS

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