New support and the difference it makes

Craigwhite_article_detail
24 May 2013
by Neil Skinner

This week the new Mayor of Gedling, Cllr Bob Collis, announced that during his year in office he will be raising funds for Framework and for Emmanuel House. 

After an inspiring visit to Framework’s Elizabeth House accommodation last month Cllr Collis decided that the money he raises will be used to fund our Skills for Independence (S4i) service, which teaches vulnerable people the skills they will need to live independently when their time with Framework comes to an end. 

Everything we do – from our accommodation services to our community support work – is about guiding people along a pathway that begins with homelessness and ends with happy and fulfilled independent living. In many cases this journey ends with training and employment. People can and do join that pathway at many different stages, but the end goal is always the same. 

The young people we work with often come from chaotic backgrounds. They may have not completed mainstream education or have little understanding of how to communicate with their peers, in groups or with professionals.

Craig White

The S4i programme helps people in Framework accommodation to reach the end of that pathway by teaching people the skills they will need to live independently. Nearly half of those people are aged between 16 and 25. 

For most people of this age the journey to independence is a very gradual one because of the ever present safety net provided by their family. Any problems, from personal crises to kitchen mishaps, can usually be solved with a quick call to mum, dad or other family members, but for many of the young people we support this is simply not a luxury available to them. In many cases they have grown up in environments where such skills have not been passed on. 

Craig White, Service Manager at Mansfield & Ashfield Young Persons’ Services, explained: “The young people we work with often come from chaotic backgrounds. They may have not completed mainstream education or have little understanding of how to communicate with their peers, in groups or with professionals. 

“The S4i programme provides a platform for young people to improve in these areas which we can then use to support them to access education, training and employment. It is a vital addition to the support package delivered to young people in our accommodation services. 

“We have already had some great results due to the interest from our young people in the S4i programme.One young person has moved into his own tenancy and we currently have two other people in a priority band for housing [proof that the local authority has confidence in them]. Referencing S4i in our communications with local authorities helps to make the case for why that young person is ready to live independently in the community. 

“The best way I can describe why S4i works is to say that our job is to work with a young person to give them the best possible chance to be successful. The S4i programme not only improves our ability to achieve this but also demonstrates our commitment to continually develop the support package we deliver to homeless young people.” 

Framework is now delivering a Skills for Independence syllabus across its accommodation network for an ever growing audience of service users from a wide range of backgrounds – from teenagers to older people who are struggling to adapt to a major change in their lives like the death of a spouse or partner. 

S4i is made up of three modules. These are.

 

Moving in

A series of workshops that relate to issues which people will experience when moving into Framework property with modules including Making your tenancy a success, Day to day budgeting andTenants’ rights and responsibilities.

Moving out

These workshops build on the Moving In modules but focus on things you need to be aware of when moving into your own tenancy such as Real cost of running a home and Furnishing your home.

Moving on

These workshops look at the development of skills and lifestyle choices which will enable people to live independently. Modules include Healthy living, Confidence building, Communication Skills and Preparing for the future.

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