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Meet the team

Also:

  • Stella Kelly HOS,
  • Laura Carson Community Living Manager
  • Mairead Cullen Taske Team Leader.
  • Community Support Workers- Rebekka Wilson, Pat Devlin
  • Taske Project Worker - Bernadette McHugh

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

We have established links with local community groups during the pandemic; these community groups will ensure that young people develop community links in their local communities that they can access post their involvement with social services.  We developed links with groups such as West Armagh Consortium and Portadown Wellness Centre to deliver hampers to young people in need who had lost jobs due to Covid.  We want to build on these links and we plan to link with the Men’s Shed group to set up a horticultural area in the grounds of the community living hub.  Young people will be able to plant a vegetable patch and grow their own food, we will then assist young people to prepare meals from this area; and in time develop a recipe book for care experienced young people cooking on a budget.  This will promote positive emotional and physical welling for young people.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Through co-production we want to equip care experience young people with practical skills i.e. cooking, budgeting, cleaning, fixing household appliances, and key life skills for moving on from care with 1:1 work and groupwork with support hub staff and external partnerships.  Covid highlighted the need for a variety of accommodation for care experienced young people.  In partnership with NIHE we identified an increase in the number of young people presenting as homeless and care leavers featured within this cohort.  This hub will include a homeless bed providing safe space for care experienced young people to sleep while we support them to seek appropriate alternative accommodation.  During Covid, placements within the care system became vulnerable/broke down.  These young people had to wait in SocialWork offices while another placement was identified.  The hub will offer a safe place giving them access to quiet space/games area to minimise the distress during a difficult experience.

How will the project be delivered?

14 plus service piloted Yoga as a means to improve emotional wellbeing of young people, this was successful – evaluated and evidenced improved outcomes for the young people in relation to sleep patterns as well as anxiety levels.  We have capacity and staff to enable small groups of young people to participate in this and other activities within the hub – improving their overall life skills and emotional wellbeing.

Covid meant us all adapting to create an effective service in the absence of direct contact.  We utilised videos through the trust Facebook page.  Our young people, welcomed this , we aim to develop future videos with tips/cookery ideas.

We will support young people within trust transition accommodation/ own tenancies by assisting them with decorating /wifi provision to allow care experienced young people to feel comfortable in their homes. As well as working with a number of community organisations to achieve our overall aim.

How is your project going to share learning?

The Community Living service has utilised innovative projects to address the growing issue of homelessness for young people, 2 ways this has been achieved is through trust transition accommodation and through stay supported lodgings.  Both of these projects have been presented regionally and through the benchmarking forums.  These models are being used as an example for innovative practice and are being rolled out in other trusts.   We would utilise our relationships with community groups and the NIHE use these integral partnerships to promote the work we do with young people and share the learning and outcomes for young people who have used the service.

We will use programmes like Yoga- the pilot was presented at a regional event and received credit for the benefits it provided for care experienced young people.  We will promote our projects through information sharing and through the trust social media.

How you can contribute

  • • Review of application to strengthen it
  • • Advice/ guidance for those who have completed this type of project before

Plan timeline

1 May 2021 Get space within hub ready to commence works.
1 Jun 2021 Equip building with Wifi- independence training equipment
1 Jul 2021 Develop homeless provision within hub.
1 Aug 2021 commence independence training programmes with young people.
1 Sep 2021 develop programme of projects in partnership with community groups
1 Oct 2021 Buy in Services
1 Nov 2021 Commence community partnership programmes with young people.
1 Dec 2021 Review service with service user group - young people in 14 plus
1 Mar 2022 Measure outcomes

Comments

  1. This is a fantastic project, there needs to be more projects like this!  All the best with it!

  2. This is a really interesting project and idea - its a really holistic view of supporting wellbeing. The community group engagement and involvement sounds as though it will be really then embedded into the community. I see you have measure outcomes at the end of the project. I wondered -  how will you review impact and benefits throughout and use a PDSA approach to refine your approach based on what is working?

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