Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is seeking local people who would be happy to accommodate young people who are unable to live at home and need help to learn to live independently.
Through the Council’s Supported Lodgings scheme, supported lodgings carers provide a stable, supportive environment to help young people gain confidence and life skills such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting.
The young people they support are aged 16 and over, may have recently left care, or may be vulnerable or at risk of homelessness.
Maureen Trees, who has been a Supported Lodgings provider with the Council for more than nine years, said: “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 getting out there, being involved and not giving up at the first hurdle.”
One of the young people currently staying with Maureen is Yacouba, who came to England around five years ago.
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.”
Supported Lodgings providers will need to be sensitive to the needs of the young person and receive an excellent weekly allowance to cover costs.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ann McCoy, said: “Many people have the commitment, skills and experience to offer a safe and supportive environment to young people.
“The scheme aims to help them in a practical and emotional way to develop the life skills to move into adulthood. There’s never been a better time for people to consider what they have to offer.
“As an approved Supported Lodgings provider, people will never feel alone – they will get ongoing supervision, support and training every step of the way.”
Those who come forward for the scheme attend a number of group preparation and training sessions and will be assessed on their ability to become a Supported Lodgings provider.
Providers are expected to have a spare bedroom, provide access to a bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities, and meals.
For further information, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/supportedlodgings or contact 01642 527860