Since the start of April, the Community Development Team’s new Youth Homelessness Development Officer Jess Strutt has been establishing and expanding her “Making Moves” project, providing drop-in and group sessions that support young people facing problems with access to permanent accommodation.
Jess’s work on the Making Moves project provides young people with advice and guidance on issues such as access to accommodation, mental health, debt, benefits, and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Her sessions are putting into action Leicestershire Cares’ “Power to Change” approach, engaging young people in an agile and collaborative process to understand the complexity of the barriers they face and to empower them to make a lasting positive change in their lives.
The Making Moves drop-in and group sessions are being run in partnership with the Freedom Youth Club in Leicester City, a community group supporting refugee and asylum-seeking young people. Drop-in sessions are also being provided with the Wesley Hall Community Centre and the mental health charity Jamila’s Legacy.
Making Moves is an exciting project to be a part off. I feel I can individually tailor support for each participant using a person-centered approach on a one-to-one basis. The other side to my role is being able to provide drop-in sessions. By doing this I feel I can reach more people in the community who seek advice around homelessness, benefits, and mental health who may otherwise not know their entitlements and options. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with further community groups over the next two years.Jess Strutt, Youth Homelessness Development Officer on the Community Development Team
In order to guarantee young people with access to their required mental health support, Jess is working together with the mental health services organisation Vitaminds and the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Homeless Mental Health Service.
The project can already boast significant success, with two young people having been moved into their own permanent accommodation, and many more benefiting from information and advice provided at sessions.
In the future, Jess hopes to improve the services of the Making Moves project by providing starter packs to young people entering new accommodation from her drop-in sessions. She has also undertaken training sessions on Universal Credit and will be delivering training sessions to the project’s stakeholder community groups on Universal Credit, benefits, and PIP, to empower them to answer the needs of their attendees.
The Community Development Team look forward to establishing further projects that address the complex challenges faced by vulnerable young people, bringing them into networks of community groups, support services, and other young people that give them the resources to realise positive change in their lives. We will continue to work with our community group partners to create a safer, more inclusive Leicestershire where no one is left behind.
Jess, thank you for today. You were great! We are lucky to have you.Jennifer Wascak from Wesley Hall Community Centre
For more information about getting involved in our Community Development Work please contact:
Tel: 07834 181041
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