BCM's HOME Project aims to increase service user skills, social networks and improve living conditions by providing a home makeover where the service users could work together to learn new skills and provide peer support. Service users who complete the project have a lovely home they could have pride in, leading to a more sustainable tenancy, a settled way of life and a sense of contentment.
Susan* is one of the young people who benefited from the HOME Project and this is her story.
“I have been in care, I’ve been in supported accommodation, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been pregnant and I’ve been in a parenting assessment centre. I was told that I couldn’t get my baby back until I got my own place and sorted myself out…
My support worker and my social worker helped me with all the housing stuff and eventually I was given a 2 bedroom house in a quiet area. I was over the moon, what 19 year old wouldn’t be? I thought this was it, I’d move in, get my child back and social services would leave me alone…
I got the keys of my house and my support worker and I went to visit it, I loved it but I had no idea where to start with the work. My application for HOME was completed straight away and Teresa helped to complete a community care grant.
I received £803 from the community care grant. I panicked. How on earth was I going to furnish a home with this, it’s completely bare! No flooring, no walls painted, no blinds, nothing.
I was told I had been granted the HOME project. Teresa and I went shopping with my community care grant and HOME money; I purchased wooden flooring, paint, wallpaper, flat pack furniture and then managed to get absolutely everything else with my £806. Teresa is an absolute bargain hunter and I didn’t argue with her!
We met Dave and I told him what I wanted to do with the house. We started off with basics like how to wash brushes and how to prepare walls, then I learned how to cut in…I also learned that painting was harder than it looked and wallpapering is almost impossible, every bone in my body ached after a week! Throughout my home makeover my support worker was there to motivate and help me, Dave was a great guide and by the end of the week I had learned how to put down uni-clic wooden floors, fit carpet and paint and paper. How many girls at my age can say that! When Dave and Teresa would leave in the evenings, I worked on, perfecting it! My house has been transformed, I am so chuffed I did it, I love telling people what I can do, I keep it tidy as I want people to be impressed! Thank you so much for the opportunity, It has really helped me settle into my new home"
*Name has been changed