Simon Community NI is Northern Ireland’s leading homelessness charity.
Their work includes homelessness prevention, tackling mental health problems and a specific focus on youth homelessness.
LandAid’s £50,000 grant will help fund their creation of a new multi-purpose space at their emergency accommodation for ten looked after children aged 16-22. This will involve renovation and a new build property extension.
The young people currently living there have identified the need for communal space to enhance their living environment and reduce social isolation. They are taking ownership of the briefing for the project and will contribute to the planning and delivery, gaining skills and confidence at every stage.
The charity has also employed a Youth Participation Worker via Comic Relief and a Sports and Wellbeing worker via Pinsent Masons. Both post holders will work alongside the young people and Simon Community NI support staff in developing the project and in using the new space.
This project will be funded by Pledge150.
Chloe is just one of the young people Simon Communities NI has helped.
This is her story.
After the breakdown of a foster placement Chloe was referred to the Young Person’s project at the Simon Community (242).
Chloe was 17 years old when she arrived. In the time that she has been here (about ten months) she’s learnt many valuable skills she can use when she moves on to independent accommodation. Chloe’s flat doesn’t reflect her age as she has maintained it very well from the beginning.
She’s very independent and never needs prompting to do her laundry, wash her dishes or take rubbish out. Chloe has decorated her flat to her taste and has even acquired some new cooking skills at 242.
When Chloe arrived she wasn’t in education, but spoke about ambitions of working with children. Chloe was supported to join college and is currently studying childcare. In the future she plans to go to university to complete a degree in psychology, or possibly teaching.
Support workers at 242 have helped Chloe get her first passport and she has planned her first trip outside of the UK with her boyfriend. They wish to follow a local DJ, who Chloe helps promote through social media, who’s headlining at a festival in the Netherlands.
Chloe is a very driven young person, who has engaged in the support provided to show that she can achieve what she previously believed she couldn’t.
Chloe has proven that she can beat the odds and live a happier life despite of the situation she found herself in.
Chloe is excited about moving into her own place and becoming more independent.
She’s also made good friendships at 242 which she hopes to maintain once she moves out. Chloe’s maturity shines when she gets herself up for college every day, she cooks her own meals and budgets her own money.
She may be a typical 18-year-old in some ways, but at 242 the staff have seen how she’s more than your average teenager.