Norwich young people learn real life skills in new initiative

Founder Rebecca White speaking at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening

Founder Rebecca White speaking at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening - Credit: Archant

Three members of the young Norwich community have just completed their first training sceme at Your Own Place's training flat.

Rebecca White, founder of Your Own Place, speaking at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening

Rebecca White, founder of Your Own Place, speaking at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening - Credit: Archant

Charity Your Own Place offers young people real-life skills to live independently, and have launched a Training Flat in which these skills can be taught in a realistic environment.

Their first three day course covered topics such as debt, utilities, budgeting, benefits, and housing issues in general.

18-year-old Ben Marshall-Nichols was on the course, and gave a glowing account of his time at the training flat.

'We've been learning about talking to the council about how to get on the housing list today,' Ben said. 'It's provided so much clarity on the situation.

Youngsters celebrating in polaroids on display at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening

Youngsters celebrating in polaroids on display at Your Own Place's Training Flat opening - Credit: Archant


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'Before I came into the course I had no idea about any of it. Now I feel like I can do this, and it's the first time I've thought that.'

'I'm not a very social person,' Ben continued. 'But this course has really opened my eyes to how great people can me. It's such a welcoming environment.'

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And what are the next steps for Ben?

'I don't feel terrified any more. I'm going to the council tomorrow,' Ben added. 'I'm going to get an account set up and get on the housing list, as well as sorting out Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit. I don't want the training to end!'

The training flat was launched on September 27, and was an overwhelming success.

'It's only a two-bedroom maisonette,' said Alex Cox, employment project coordinatior at Your Own Place. 'but we had a lot more people than we thought come, there were fifty plus, so it got a bit cramped!'

'The flat has been leased to us by Norwich City Council,' Alex explained. 'We had lots of volunteers to help us get it ready, and then loads of generous donations of furniture and appliances from places like IKEA and B&Q.'

'It's important that these sessions happen in a real-life setting,' Alex said. 'On a real life council estate like the one here at Johnson Place.'

For more information about Your Own Place, visit: http://www.yourownplace.org.uk

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