Photo: Jo Dyke, Community and Membership Adviser at the Heart of England Co-operative Society (centre) with young people from The House Project.

Monday, July 22, 2019

A project which works with young people to help them prepare for independence after leaving care has been given a helping hand by the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Helping Hearts Awards Scheme.

Based at Portland House in Orchard Street, Nuneaton, The House Project, supported by Warwickshire County Council, works with young people aged from 15 to 18 and beyond. The project teaches life skills and provides a support network as the young people involved build their confidence and try to make their own way in the world.

With eight young people on the first intake last year, rising to 18 by September 2020, The House Project, which opens its doors Mondays to Fridays, aims to provide a homely environment for young people to relax, make new friends, look for jobs and learn various life skills such as healthy eating and money management – helping to improve their overall prospects.

Working with outside agencies such as the police and Citizens Advice, The House Project aims to start teaching the youngsters how to manage their lives while still in foster care, residential care or supported living.

The young people have been involved in the design and implementation of the scheme themselves, including the application to the Heart of England Co-operative Society for help to purchase an oven, some bean bags and a tool box.

Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children & Families, said: “The House Project has been a great success so far in helping young people leaving care gain fundamental life skills to support them to live independently. All the young people have played a central part in every stage from pitching for the project, to designing their independence programme and working with outside agencies for support.

“We are grateful to the co-op for providing funding for equipment to enhance the project and the young people’s experiences.”

The House Project is one of 20 organisations across Nuneaton and Hinckley to receive a share of £6,648 in the latest round of donations from the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Helping Hearts Awards Scheme.

Others included the Mary Ann Evans Hospice which received £1,000 towards items on its wish list, Nuneaton Arts Festival, which received £488 towards promotional material for this year’s event, the 1st Chapel End Girls’ Brigade, which received £250 towards the funding of a first aid course, and Girlguiding Nuneaton Division, which received £200 towards a trip to Switzerland.

An additional £325 was donated to various raffles throughout Coventry and Warwickshire over the past five months.

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