Training flat in Norwich to help vulnerable young people get a stable home

Rebecca White, who runs Your Own Place. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Rebecca White, who runs Your Own Place. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A social enterprise that helps vulnerable young people is securing a training flat in Norwich city centre.

Your Own Place, which is working with Norwich City Council, will use the property to teach people the skills they need to hold down a tenancy.

This will include reading an electric meter, cooking meals, painting and decorating as well as skills for budgeting.

Rebecca White, who runs the social enterprise, said the idea was modelled on a successful scheme in south London, which found that the majority of young people who completed workshops at the training flat did not fall into rent arrears.

It was more effective than learning from textbooks, she added.

'The young people will be involved in all aspects of running a real two-bedroom flat,' she said. 'I think because we're going to make it a very attractive, friendly environment that makes a difference to how young people feel.

'It will be very welcoming, which will help as we work with some anxious young people. They will know where to find us.

Most Read

'It's a totally radical scheme and vital to working with hard-to-reach young people.'

It is anticipated that the project will launch in autumn 2016, once the flat has been prepared. Reality Estate Agency is among the businesses and groups which have offered to help

'Lots of people move house and chuch things out so they're asking their customers to donate stuff,' said Ms White.

Your Own Place helps people aged 16 to 25, who have generally been homeless, are homeless or are about to move from an unstable way of life into a new tenancy.

It works across Norfolk.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: 'We are looking at providing a property for this organisation.

'We are at an early stage in our discussions with them and we are currently exploring ideas to how the project would work and how we can best support it.'

For details, see www.yourownplace.org.uk or call 07530 028446.