Looking for a home
Making lives better
A Hampshire-based charity are supporting young people in Portsmouth by equipping them with essential life skills and to overcome the added challenges brought on by coronavirus Despite the challenges presented by lockdown, Yellow Brick Road Projects are successfully running a 10-week online course for Southern Housing Group residents in Portsmouth, teaching them the skills needed not just today, but throughout their lives.
The course, which was funded by the local housing association, was aimed to help young people to maintain their tenancies; understand their rights and responsibilities manage bills and a household budget; gain confidence to enable them to re-enter the workforce; and to look after their physical, mental and emotional health.
Siobhan Down, chief executive of Yellow Brick Road said: ‘We know that under 35s are at a higher-risk of losing their tenancies and getting into debt. It can be especially tough for first-time renters, who may not have experience in dealing with a landlord and end up in serious difficulties. Our ‘You Matter’ course helps equip young people with the skills they need to thrive in their communities.’
The course was initially planned to be delivered in classroom-based sessions throughout the summer. However, as it became clear that the government’s lockdown measures meant this would no longer be possible, Yellow Brick Road Projects adapted the course to be delivered online. The course has continued to adapt to the changing needs of learners, for example, offering one-to-one sessions around their other commitments, and even hosting some social distanced sessions outside.
Matthew McLean, Southern Housing Group’s Community Services Manager said: ‘We worked closely with Yellow Brick Road Projects to ensure the course could still go ahead, and we were even able to start a few weeks earlier to help meet the participants’ immediate needs at the onset of the lockdown. The team has delivered individual coaching sessions via video, phone calls, emails and text messaging. This enables us to support our residents to navigate these challenging times.’’
Southern Housing Group, one of the largest in the south of England, helped to identify people who could benefit from the course, which has helped over 500 young people since 2014.
The course was delivered as part of Southern 360, Southern Housing Group’s innovative initiative, which brings together its community investment work, care services and specialist housing provision so that resources and expertise can be applied to best effect. Partnership with third parties is a hallmark of Southern 360’s approach, leveraging the benefits for residents with solid research and targeting specific needs.
To find out more about Southern 360, please visit www.southern360.org.uk.