Young people housing project in Torbay set for expansion
- Credit: TRicky's Photography
A supported housing project for young people facing homelessness in Torbay is set to expand.
For the past 17 years LiveWest has run Torbay Foyer, which provides supported accommodation for young people aged between 16 and 25 who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
After the latest round of tendering, Torbay Council has given the social housing provider a three-year contract to carry on developing the service at the Foyer with the option of a further two years.
The new contract, which starts at the beginning of April, 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.
LiveWest’s vision for their young person provision in Torbay is a holistic community hub of services that will embed community inclusion, using the different aspects of the building such as the café, sports hall and training rooms.
LiveWest’s youth offer emphasises the importance of connecting young people into education, training and employment pathways, together with housing stability, finance, health and wellbeing and a social footprint that supports them towards independent living.
It has a focus on young people’s assets, enabling them to create their individual journey.
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Jenny Endean, young person service development manager for LiveWest, said: “It is really good news for the team and wider community in Torbay as we are able to increase our offer to young people and their communities.
“Creating a range of opportunities and safe spaces in which young people can share their experiences and tell their stories is one of the ways we work with our partners to improve outcomes for young people.
“Writing a tender is always a difficult and stressful time, but it’s a real team effort including listening to young people. We were very delighted to see from the feedback that we scored 57.37 out of 60 for our responses to the method statements.
“We recognise that services cannot be delivered in isolation, and lasting outcomes and sustainability for young people, communities and the service is achieved through genuine partnerships, engagement and collaboration with all our stakeholders.
“We are looking forward to building on our existing and new partnerships and increasingly becoming a hub of the community.
“We are an organisation that listen to and hear a young person’s voice. We spend time getting to know young people, gaining a deep understanding of them, their behaviours, their preference and their needs and aspirations.
“We use all of this in a coordinated and structured way to help us to gain a clearer understanding of how we should do things on a day-to-day basis and plan for the future.”
Torbay Foyer is currently working towards securing ‘For Youth’ accreditation with the Foyer Federation – a national members network reaching across the UK and Ireland, bringing young people’s services together to share experiences and learnings, and to weave Advantaged Thinking principles into everything they do.
For Youth is a nationally recognised development programme that helps organisations demonstrate that the service they provide invests in young people’s assets and potential.
Julie Wilcox, scheme manager for Torbay Foyer, said: “I was absolutely delighted when given the news we were successful in re-tendering Torbay Foyer, as we have been delivering young people services here for many years so it is great news for both the team and our residents.
“This means we can continue to work in partnership with the wider community, creating access to other services and opportunities that develop our young people’s positive pathway through our supported accommodation into independent living.
“For young people who find themselves at risk of, or are experiencing homelessness, we can offer a safe space where they can explore their talents and aspirations.
“We are especially excited to be working towards our For Youth accreditation with the Foyer Federation this year.
“We focus on Advantaged Thinking, adjusting our language, methods and behaviours to support the talents and positive attributes our young people possess rather than deficit based negative language.
“It is something that we should all consider in our everyday lives and leads to best working practices. The Foyer Federation and Inspire Chilli provide a great peer network and UK wide opportunities for Young People.”
Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet member for children’s services at Torbay Council, said: “Following a competitive tendering process we have awarded contracts to a number of organisations who will provide vital supported and/or semi-independent accommodation for Torbay care leavers; young people with additional support needs including those at risk of becoming homeless and a support accommodation service for young parents.
“Each of the contracts start on April 1 for a period of three years, and we are looking forward to working in partnership with these partners to support and prepare young people to achieve independent living and successful futures.”