New homes will give young people in Yate a new start

December 31 2019
New homes will give young people in Yate a new start

HOMES are being created to give almost 30 vulnerable young people in Yate a chance to start living independently.

New accommodation for up to 30 young people aged 16 to 25 who need support to help them learn the skills for independent living is being created in two places in the town.

Southwold House in Station Road was refurbished and opened just before Christmas, providing 10 rooms for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

And work is underway to convert the former Woodleaze care home in Wood Leaze into 18 units, half of which will go to care leavers, with the remainder offered to young people from a range of backgrounds.

Both projects have involved the charity 1625 Independent People, which provides a range of support, from accommodation to learning life skills and help with accessing training, to people in the 16-25 age group.

Woodleaze is expected to open in May and has space for other support services to be based there. The building has been leased by South Gloucestershire Council to charitable housing association Solon. The council helped to secure £126,600 in grant funding and Solon have received £630,000 from housing agency Homes England.

The work at Southwold House was carried out without charge by Ian Williams, a property maintenance and improvement company from Chipping Sodbury. 1625 Independent People also had a partnership with volunteer staff from Triodos Bank and the Avon Wildlife Trust who helped to create a wildlife garden and relaxing outdoor space.

1625ip chief executive Dom Wood said: “Our young people have a place that is now somewhere they can be proud of, from which they can rebuild their lives and create a successful future.

"We now have a project where young people can study, a fantastic kitchen to learn to cook healthily on a budget, and proper places to relax and be part of the community. I cannot thank Ian Williams and their suppliers enough for their generosity.”

Ian Williams executive director Mike Turner said: “We wanted to do something really brilliant; something that would have a long-lasting and positive impact on people's lives.”

Announcing work at Woodleaze, council cabinet member for young people Jon Hunt said: “Our top priority is to improve outcomes for all young people in South Gloucestershire and we know that some of our most vulnerable need an extra helping hand to make the transition to independent living, particularly among our care leavers.

I am really excited to see this project, which will make such a difference to the lives of young people, reach this important milestone. I look forward to returning in May to welcome them to their new homes.

Not only will the new Woodleaze provide a better facility to improve our offer to help some of our most vulnerable young people achieve better outcomes, ensuring this is done locally rather than further afield, but it is also highly cost-effective, with the saving transferred to the residents across South Gloucestershire.”