New flats will help young people leaving care

August 30 2019
New flats will help young people leaving care

A PROJECT to provide homes for young people leaving the care system has opened new housing in Fishponds.

The Establish scheme involves property firm Andrews working through its charitable arm the Andrews Charitable Trust with Bristol charity 1625 Independent People to provide long-term housing, emotional and personal support and access to help in finding and keeping a job, so that people leaving care can build independent lives.

The two self-contained flats in the Fishponds opened this summer are the fourth set of homes opened under Establish, which now supports a total of 11 young people who have left the care system.

The first was launched in Bristol in 2017 and two more have been opened in South London.

1625ip, which works with young people in Bristol to avoid homelessness, will manage the Fishponds flats, which will accommodate two people and were bought and refurbished by Andrews Charitable Trust.

Andrews Property Group chief executive David Westgate said the trust aimed to provide 50 homes to local charities within 50 years and was "already well ahead of that schedule".

He added: "With each of these homes that we launch, it is worth remembering that this is not just a case of providing young people with a home; we want to offer them wider support that encompasses everything from skills development, training and advice on career options, through to how to approach issues around personal finance and other aspects of independent living."

1625ip chief executive Dom Wood said: “We’re both delighted and honoured to now be here celebrating this new home that will provide two more young people with a home and vital support for the coming few years, and look forward to engaging with more members of the Andrews’ team, without whom this initiative simply wouldn’t be possible.”

Members of Andrews’ staff have trained to work as mentors to help provide support to young people under the scheme.

Employee Nathan Moore, who has himself experienced life in care, said: “Having been in care, I understand the challenges that these young people are facing. The process of becoming an independent adult is difficult enough at the best of times but for those young people leaving the care system, the challenges are often amplified if they don’t receive support and guidance."

Picture: Andrews Property Group chief executive David Westgate, ACT executive director Siân Edwards and Dom Wood of 1625ip with Andrews mentor Nathan Moore and South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage.