Warwickshire residents asked to open their homes and hearts to unaccompanied young asylum-seekers - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire residents asked to open their homes and hearts to unaccompanied young asylum-seekers

CARING people in Warwickshire who have a room to spare are being encouraged to host unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.

Barnardo’s provides Warwickshire’s Supported Lodgings Service on behalf of Warwickshire County Council (WCC), providing young people with a room of their own in a private home where they are a member of the household.

The homeowner, or host, provides a safe and supportive environment, working alongside professional services to help the young person gain skills for independent adult life.

Supported lodgings hosts are offered training, and will receive a payment to cover the costs of having a young person living in their home.

Helen, a supported lodgings host, said: “I have been a supported lodgings host for two years and it has been a brilliant experience.

“Prior to this, I was a foster carer for 10 years. Supported lodgings is the best option for me as it gives more flexibility and allows me to work alongside hosting a young person.

“Watching a young person gain in confidence and learn new skills is fantastic, and I have made lifelong relationships.”

Fellow host Sally had no prior experience of working or caring for a young person, but wanted to give something back.

She said: “It was the best decision I have made. I have learnt so much and felt supported every step of the way. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to make the call.”

WCC’s Children’s Services spokesman Coun Jeff Morgan added: “The support provided by our hosts is invaluable in helping these young people gain vital skills and experience as they transition into adulthood.

“We urge anyone who has a spare room and is interested in making a positive impact in a young person’s life to get in touch with Barnardo’s and find out more about this opportunity.”

Contact Barnardo’s Supported Lodgings Service on 0800 0272 118 or at [email protected] for more information.

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