A young person in care has expressed his heartfelt gratitude to supported lodgings providers, Kathy and Arthur, after moving on to independence.
Supported Lodgings Providers offer a spare bedroom and support with essential life skills, such as cooking and managing finances to a young person over 16, in a safe and stable family environment.
Leicestershire County Council is currently looking to recruit 15 new Supported Lodgings Providers for young people in care, who are not quite ready to go out into the world alone.
Kathy, who has helped over 70 young people since 2012, said: “I looked after my mother-in-law and father-in-law until they both passed away. My husband, Arthur, worked away from home during the week and my youngest son was 19 then, so I had a lot of time on my hands and no one to care for.
“My friend was already a Supported Lodgings Provider and felt I would be suited to the role. Arthur retired in 2017 and has since been fully involved too.
“We do it because we care and if one young person can go from here positively then that brings a great sense of achievement, both from us and the young person because they did it! The reward is giving them a family life, which a lot of them have never had.”
Damien was placed with Kathy and Arthur in 2020, when Kathy was shielding due to COVID-19.
She said: “He was very shy and quiet, and didn’t have a lot of confidence. But he was well-mannered and adhered to rules of the home, including my shielding rules, in a positive way, always keen to learn and participate in any way he could.
“Damien said to me once, “I have never had boundaries or rules" and this is what he needed to happen in his life, before he could do what he wanted.”
After a year living with Kathy and Arthur, Damien has been able to move out independently and shared his appreciation in a thank-you card.
The card reads: “Although I may not show it all the time, I am extremely grateful for everything you have done for me. I walk away today a changed man; I have come a long way from when I moved in last year and that is all thanks to you both. … Thank you for giving me an amazing year of living with you, I will always have room in my heart for you both.”
Being a supported lodgings provider is a rewarding and flexible way to support an older teenager, and give them a helping hand into adulthood.Person:Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families
This lovely message from one of our young people shows the life-changing difference that supported lodgings providers can make to teenagers in care.
To know that this young person can recognise the difference in themselves and feel confident moving out, equipped with skills and experience that will stand him in good stead for the future is a testament to Kathy and Arthur and we desperately need more people like them to come forward.
Join the virtual information event on Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 6:30pm to hear from current carers and the fostering team about the scheme by calling 0116 305 0505.