Hundreds helped by Benjamin Foundation’s Heart and Home

Heart and Home - Sarah, left with Tasha, who is being supported through the Benjamin Foundation's s

Heart and Home - Sarah, left with Tasha, who is being supported through the Benjamin Foundation's scheme that helps young people learn to become independant, whilst offering a caring home. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A loving and supportive family is something that many people take for granted.

Pip Yaxley, manager for Heart and Home at the Benjamin Foundation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pip Yaxley, manager for Heart and Home at the Benjamin Foundation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

But for hundreds of young people living across Norfolk it is something they do not have.

Over the past five years the Benjamin Foundation's Heart and Home service has aimed to change that.

It has provided more than 100 vulnerable young people in our county with a host family to live with.

But as the demand continues to increase it is now seeking more volunteers to get involved with the scheme.


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Heart and Home manager Pip Yaxley said: 'We now have 20 hosts countywide, with demand for this type of accommodation for vulnerable young people continuously exceeding supply.

'Heart and Home is a hugely important service for young people as it provides a warm, caring and secure base for young people who are on their journey towards becoming an adult.'

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It is one of many services offered to vulnerable people across Norfolk by the Benjamin Foundation.

And money from this year's Norwich Sleep Out 2016 will help support the scheme and the dedicated hosts.

The service was set up in January 2011 as an alternative to shared supported accommodation for homeless young people aged 16 to 24.

Since then it has provided more than 100 young people with a safe and secure family environment to live in.

Mrs Yaxley said: 'Many young homeless people benefit far more from a home environment and the support of a family or individual than from a more formal and independent hostel environment.

'This service can suit young people with different levels of need and the young people receive support with valuable life skills from both their host and also members of staff from the Benjamin Foundation.'

The service receives referrals from children's services for young people looking to become more independent.

It then aims to find a good match between the young person and the host, before arranging a viewing.

People who take in someone receive support payments from the charity, as well as a contribution from the person living there for utilities and living expenses.

Hosts need to be able to offer a bedroom, support and demonstrate tolerance and understanding.

For more information on the service visit www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk. Alternatively, email pip.yaxley@benjaminfoundation.co.uk or call 01603 886930

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