West Sussex House Project Launch Report
Posted 13th February 2023
Released: 10 February 2023 by West Sussex Council
A new scheme providing young people leaving care with a safe home and support to live independently has been launched by West Sussex County Council.
The first West Sussex House Project will bring together groups of young people up to the age of 25 who are moving out of care and into adulthood.
A dedicated hub has been created in Crawley where professionals will teach them a range of life skills, from cooking to money management, to creative projects such as how to make furniture and renovate a house.
The National House Project is a charity working with local authorities across the UK, including West Sussex County Council together with the county’s district and borough councils.
The first 12 young care leavers from West Sussex to start the project are being helped to find new homes, which are safe and meet their long-term, individual needs. At the same time, they will gain a qualification and be part of a network of support, which is available to them now and into the future.
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “It was amazing to formally launch the first West Sussex House Project which provides this fantastic space for our care leavers.
“It was amazing to formally launch the first West Sussex House Project which provides this fantastic space for our care leavers."
Cabinet Member for Children & Young People
“We made the decision two years ago to join this innovative programme and guide young people whom we and others have cared for through the tricky transition from being in care to adulthood.
“It’s great to start to see our first group of young people begin their life skills courses, be supported into their own accommodation, and getting ready to live more independent lives and fulfil their potential. I am excited to see the difference this project will make.”
Miah, aged 16, House Project Cool Kids Club member and Care Leaver National Movement representative said: “I am looking forward to my journey of the House Project and having the chance to be more independent.”
West Sussex County Council’s Leaving Care Service supports every young person who has been under our care as they move into adulthood, helping them to prepare to live independent lives that are healthy, happy and safe.
The service works with children from the age of 17 up to 25, and each is allocated a personal advisor who helps with their health and wellbeing and with practical things like finances, housing, relationships, education and employment.
NHP supports young people leaving care with white goods to ease the financial burden as they move into their first home. Leaving care and moving into your first home is a significant milestone for young people but this journey towards independent living is fraught with challenges. For care leavers, the dream of having their own place can quickly turn into a daunting reality when they realise that many everyday essentials, like new fridges and washing machines, remain out of reach due to financial constraints. NHP recognises that having these appliances isn't a luxury but a necessity for building a stable, comfortable home.Read more
On Sunday 12th November, over 40 runners ran the Alton Towers Half Marathon to raise monies for the 'Care Leavers: Kitchen Comfort' campaign. Despite the pouring rain the runners completed the course to support young people, raising over £9000. Two young people, Kieran and Paris, who had been supported by NHP ran in support of their community of care leavers and were delighted to have run their first half marathon.Read more
On Thursday 19 October the House Project community of young people, colleagues and partners from across the UK came together for the annual Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) Conference, ‘Sense of Wellbeing’; hosted at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester. The day celebrated young people and projects, with a focus on Wellbeing and how this links to relationships and community, both of which are fundamental in the House Project approach.Read more