Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is looking for members of the public to offer Supported Lodgings to young people who are unable to live at home and need a stepping stone to independent living.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ann McCoy, said: “All kinds of members of the public may have the commitment, skills and experience to offer a safe and supportive environment to young people and to help them in a practical and emotional way which will help them develop the life skills to move into adulthood.
“The Supported Lodgings Scheme is a great way to make a difference to a young person’s life and is very rewarding too.”
Supported Lodgings providers get professional guidance, as well as comprehensive training, access to a support group and a weekly allowance. Providers are expected to have a spare bedroom, provide access to a bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities, and meals. They need to be sensitive to the needs of the young person who is most likely to have suffered hardship.
Maureen (57) of Billingham has been a Supported Lodgings provider with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for over nine years, “As a single Mum with two children of my own, I was initially looking at the option of becoming a foster carer because I felt I had a lot to offer.
“However, I heard about Supported Lodgings and have truly never looked back.”
Maureen, who has looked after more than eight young people, said: “It’s sometimes been challenging but I believe in setting clear boundaries and encouraging young people to stretch themselves. They often don’t realise what they can achieve with the right support and encouragement. I very much believe in doing – getting out there, being involved and not giving up at the first hurdle.”
One of the young people currently staying with Maureen is 22 year old Yacouba. Maureen said: “To have seen Yacouba thrive and develop is just wonderful. The time and emotional support I invested since he first came to me has been so worthwhile. Now, he’s completed the first year at university and is already making such a success of his life. I’m extremely proud of him. The sense of achievement is enormous.”
To find out more about your eligibility to become a Supported Lodgings provider, and for further information, please contact 01642 527860 or visit www.stockton.gov.uk/supportedlodgings