There are young people all over Essex who are in need of supported lodgings. They are usually aged 16-18, but we also support people up to the age of 24 if they are in higher education. Where possible, we encourage a young person to move on to independent housing from age 18.
There are many reasons young people need supported lodgings. Our young people include those who:
- have left the foster care system and are still in need of some support before they move to independent housing
- are attending higher education
- have been living with family but come across issues at home, such as relationship instability or breakdown, addictions or behaviour problems
- have learning or mental health needs which means they need some support and care at home
- need a home for just a few days or weeks
- are asylum seekers who don't have parents or family with them.
When young people go into supported lodgings, they have a home environment and the support and guidance of an adult. Your role as a lodgings provider is to provide them with stability and help them develop life skills to live on their own.
You might be able to help them with:
- budgeting skills
- basic personal skills
- social skills
- employment skills
- using public transport
- managing their health and behaviour
Read Memory's story; she has now left her supported lodgings home but explains the positive impact it has had on her life.
24-year-old Memory, from Chelmsford, was in supported lodgings between the ages of 16-19.
“As soon as I stepped into my supported lodgings house, I wasn’t just given a bed to sleep in, but I was immediately part of their family.
She believes that having this constant presence in her life has been hugely beneficial. Its also given her the practical support she needed, like learning to cook and do laundry; all life skills that Memory says have enabled her to live an independent life now.
“I honestly don’t think I'd be where I am today if it wasn’t for my supported lodgings provider. She has very much helped shape my life.”
You can read Memory's full blog here.
Meet some of the young people looking for supported lodgings.
Jenny, a sociable 16-year-old
Jenny is 16 and has been living with her mother and two younger siblings. She needs a supported lodgings carer as her mum is unable to look after her. Her mother suffers with poor mental health, self-harms and has neglected her children. Her father is termed as high risk to children and adults due to concerns around his criminal activity, aggressive behaviour and poor mental health.
Jenny’s mum used to work in the evenings and leave her in charge of the home and her younger siblings, which is something that Jenny found increasingly overwhelming. This, coupled with other stressors in her life, led to her taking an overdose of her mum's medication which was not locked away. Jenny takes medication for her own mental health and has requested counselling. Jenny finds counselling and mentoring support therapeutic and likes to talk about her feelings and everyday life stressors, she can be honest about her wishes and feelings if she is in a place where she feels comfortable to talk
Jenny prioritises her education and wants to achieve her highest potential. She enjoys socialising with her friends, doing her make-up and straightening her hair and views these as a de-stressing coping mechanism.
Jenny is very sociable and spends a lot of time on her phone talking to her friends. Jenny likes hanging out with her dad and step mum going shopping and
eating out. There is no legal order stopping Jenny’s dad from having contact with her, therefore they have contact.
Jenny is a sensible young person who has been responsible for child minding her younger siblings most of their lives and keeping the family home clean and organised. She is family orientated and states she loves her mother and two sisters unconditionally. She likes structure and routine and likes living in a home that is organised. Jenny wants to be independent and make the right choices for her life; she welcomes guidance from appropriate adults, such as professionals.
James, a teenager with aspirations for the future
James is a self-sufficient teenager who has had a difficult childhood. He needs support lodgings because he doesn't have good relationships with his family. He has been living with his nan but she can't continue to look after him because she has physical health needs. He is of an age that he can meet his own needs independently and his preferred arrangement would be a semi-independent living provision such as support lodgings.
James wants to be accepted and celebrated for the person he is. He suffers with mental health issues including anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, and he admits that he can take time to trust people. He is thought to have a less developed sense of self and low self esteem. However, he would like to get support to help with his problems.
James has spoken about his aspirations for the future and he wants to take an educational course in mechanics as he's interested in cars. He has also expressed that he'd like to learn more about producing music and join a martial arts group.
James' friends and family are very important to him and he wants to stay close to them in his new accommodation. He is described by family as well behaved at home and he is comfortable asking for help with strong feelings.