A Torbay man who has turned his life around since experiencing homeless is in the running for a national award.
Mitch Snell, 20, will travel to Birmingham later this week after being shortlisted in the 'outstanding newcomer' category at the Room for Young People awards which celebrates the positive impact young people are having in society.
Mitch came out of the school education system early and left his family home before arriving at Torbay Foyer, a supported housing project in Torquay catering for young people aged between 16 and 25 who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
Three months later and he is relishing his new start after learning new skills such as budgeting, cooking and employability.
Mitch said: “I am so proud to be nominated for this award, it feels like I am going to the Oscars. I will have to practice my speech in case I win.
“I haven’t stopped telling people about the award as I am so excited about it.
“I am thrilled that my progress is being recognised and I have been able to get back on track.
“I was in a tough situation and didn’t really have anywhere else to go. But since coming to the Foyer, everything has got better for me.”
Mitch, who is currently doing some part-time security work, has a passion for music and writing rap songs.
His ability was recognised by Sound Communities after they partnered with LiveWest on a project to help young people in supported accommodation thrive.
Mitch recently wrote a song in tribute to his grandfather who recently passed away.
“I have got a real interest in music and it is something I would like to do in my career,” said Mitch.
“I am more focused on the rap side of music and making up beats to go with lyrics.
“The notes on my phone are full of song lyrics, I write them all the time.
“It helps me to express myself and I was able to show my feelings for my grandad who was an important person in my life.
“I have been doing a qualification in podcasting and Sound Communities were so impressed by my lyrics writing, they have said I can do some voluntary work which could lead on to me being trained as a youth worker.”
Having run Torbay Foyer for the past 17 years, LiveWest was recently successful in retendering for the service and were given a three-year contract by Torbay Council to carry on developing the service with the option of a further two years.
The new contract means LiveWest will be able to support a further three young people on top of the 20 young people currently living at the Foyer by including three self-contained flats in the community and creating an accommodation pathway to meet the needs, strengths and aspirations of young people.
Mitch has thanked LiveWest for the support they have provided since he arrived at the Foyer in July.
He added: “I am making great progress and my time here has showed me to do things that I never thought I would be able to do. Coming here is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
“I have got my own room and access to everything that I need. I am paying my rent and doing things adults do. It has been the best experience of my life.
“I am not that great with money, so the budgeting advice has been really helpful.
“If you put your mind to it, good things can come out of situations.
“The LiveWest staff at the Foyer are absolute legends.
“They make sure you are okay, support you with training and courses, keep you involved with everything and have a really nice way of bringing out the best in everyone.
“They have been very patient with me and the support is way more than I have been given in the past.
“In the future, I would like to get a good job, settle down and have children.”
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