Raft will be lifeline for young homeless - The Worcester Observer

Raft will be lifeline for young homeless

Worcester Editorial 28th Oct, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

A NEW Worcestershire-wide floating support service to help young people who are either homeless or facing homelessness has been launched.

Raft sees three organisations join forces to assist 18 to 23-year-olds who need support in maintaining a tenancy.

It is being led by the North Worcestershire Basement Project, which will cover Bromsgrove and the Wyre Forest, Nightstop, which will cover Redditch, and Rooftop Housing, responsible for Worcester, Wychavon and Malvern Hills.

Those eligible for floating support from Raft include those living on their own who have their own tenancy, those who are ‘sofa surfing’ with friends because they are homeless, single parents living in accommodation that is not their family home and couples in that same situation who are both aged between 18 and 23.

There are a number of reasons as to why young people find themselves homeless, from family breakdown to domestic or sexual abuse.

Young people participating in the scheme will be assessed to begin with, must be willing to engage and, after agreeing a support plan, must keep appointments with their support worker.

They will be offered both one-to-one assistance and group work sessions so they can reach their agreed goals and each individual’s plan will be tailored to suit their own needs and situation.

Help will be given in a variety of areas, including literacy and numeracy, time and money management, promoting healthy lifestyle, use of technology, planning and problem-solving, personal confidence and self-esteem and empathy and managing feelings.

Many of those being helped by the scheme will be NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and Raft will also assist the young people in finding and applying for jobs, education or training, including CV writing and preparing for interviews.

To deliver the scheme, there will be seven workers – two full-time and one part-time working under the Basement Project, one person who works 25 hours a week on Redditch Nightstop and three full-time workers from Rooftop.

Jackie Hooper, from the Basement Project, said: “The statistics and research shows Raft will provide a much-needed service and young people both need and welcome the support.

“It’s not about us taking control and telling them what to do. It’s about offering support to them to make choices so they can live independently.”

She added the title of the scheme – Raft – was very apt as it would offer those aged between 18 and 23 a lifeline at a time in their lives when they were struggling.

Rebekah Bott, from Nightstop, said: “It’s brilliant – we have been doing this sort of thing for a long time, so it’s nice to be involved with other people. It’s the same as what we have always done but in a partnership.”

She added it would be good to share ideas and resources with the other organisations as each one would be using some techniques and approaches the others could utilise equally as effectively.

And Jo Flanary from Rooftop said: “I think it’s great that different agencies are working together to provide the support that young people across the county need to help them gain their independence.

“There can never be too much support for young people.”

The project has been funded by Worcestershire County Council.

Coun Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for health and well-being, said: “I am delighted to support Raft in their vital work to support homeless people throughout Worcestershire.”


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