The Supported Lodgings team, along with current providers, will be on hand to share information and answer questions about the scheme at Bexhill Sailing Club in De La Warr Parade on Thursday, October 11, from 5.30pm to 8pm.
East Sussex County Council is encouraging more people to consider opening their homes to help meet the rising demand for young people aged between 16 and 18 who need a consistent adult in their lives who can help them to learn how to live independently.
Cllr Sylvia Tidy, the County Council’s lead member for children and families, said: “There are many reasons a young person may not be able to live with their family and so needs the help from supported lodgings carers. The more carers we have, the more successfully we can make a good match that best suits both their needs.
“Giving space and time to help a young person learn vital skills is invaluable in preparing them to live a successful independent life, and I would encourage as many people as possible to consider becoming part of this scheme.”
As well as having a spare room, providers, who can be couples or individuals, need to be resilient and non-judgemental, with time to give to a young person both emotionally and practically. Providers can work full time alongside the scheme, as long as they can be on hand to give the necessary advice and support when it’s needed.
Debbie and Nigel Lambert became supported lodgings carers three years ago when their daughters left home and have since opened their home to a total of eight young people.
Nigel said: “We have had young people from a range of backgrounds and they are all so different, but the onus is always on building up to independence.
“Both Debbie and I are able to use our own experiences to help the young people get on the career ladder. I used to be a recruiter for BA and Debbie does mentoring, so we have a good idea of what young people need to do to get on a college course or find a job.”
The couple agree that at times the behaviour of some young people can be challenging but believe the benefits of the supporting lodgings scheme far outweigh these challenges.
“Our friends always say what we do is amazing and that they couldn’t do it, but we get such a buzz out of it,” he added. “And the support we receive from the supported lodging team is great. You never feel like you are on your own to deal with things, whatever the day or time.”
Anyone unable to attend can find out more information about training, the assessment process and rates of pay by logging onto www.eastsussex.gov.uk/supportedlodgings, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01424 726155.