The Brian Kennedy Trust working with Arch to Support Young People

Words from Arch:

Arch is a local charity that has been supporting vulnerable and socially excluded children, young people and adults in Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas for over 20 years. We want to be part of a future where people live happily and safely in their own homes; a future where people can reach their full potential in a thriving neighbourhood.

In 2010 we were approached by Linda Miles, the Director of the trust after they’d seen information about the work Arch does in a copy of the ‘Charities Digest’. The Brian Kennedy Trust is passionate about supporting organisations to give young people a better chance in life and we were excited about the prospect of working with the Trust and developing new ideas for services. The meeting also came at a great time for Arch as we had just started a new service for young people in the city of Stoke-on-Trent; ‘Supported Lodgings’.

Supported Lodgings provides an alternative accommodation solution for young people between 16 and 25 who are or risk becoming homeless. It is really something special for young people who are not quite ready to move into independent living straight away but, for whatever reason, cannot stay in their family home or their place of care. By matching them with a suitable ‘host family’ each young person has the space to develop their own independence, learn the emotional, relationship and practical skills they will need in the future whilst at the same time benefiting from the natural structure and boundaries that family life offers.

The grant from the trust has made a significant contribution to the funding of the project and Linda has been involved with Arch since this time, more recently the join the Host Approval Panel for Supported Lodgings. She provides valuable input and a new and dynamic perspective to ensuring that the service we offer for young people is of the highest quality and that we continually recognise opportunities to change what we are doing to make it even better!

It has been great partnering up with people who share the same ethos and values as Arch. We’ve got loads of ideas and we hope to be able to continue to work with The Brian Kennedy Trust, to give young people who have met disadvantage throughout their lives the chance to meet their true potential.

Supported Lodgings Showcase Event On 17 October Arch held its Supported Lodgings Showcase event at Hanley Community Fire Station. With over 40 delegates attending, this was a great opportunity for young people and their hosts to share their experiences of the service which has now been established for over a year.

Supported Lodgings, for those of you who have yet to hear (or have not yet been asked to be a host!), is our alternative accommodation solution for young people who are, or risk, becoming homeless. Young people are provided accommodation with a ‘sot’ who does not take parental responsibility for them but does provide emotional and practical support so they can develop the skills they need to live independently. The concept itself is basic, but its impact can be massive.

The Support Lodgings concept has done more for me than I could ever have dreamed of. I never expected myself to ever be in a situation where I felt so positive about the future. With their rigorous matching process I was placed in exactly the right kind of environment that I needed to feel comfortable.

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