Going it alone?’ is a bilingual, young person friendly guide on independent living. It provides essential information on what a young person needs to consider before making the move to independent living, and signposts expert agencies in their area for further information and guidance. Throughout the leaflet, the emphasis is on a planned, supported move into independence, and encourages young people to fully consider all their options and the realities of ‘Going it alone’.
North Wales Housing, Cartrefi Conwy, Conwy County Borough Council’s Youth Homelessness Outreach Worker and Bus Stop; a mobile youth provision providing information, advice and guidance to young people throughout Conwy have been working in partnership to develop a leaflet aimed at 15 – 21year olds on homeless prevention and maintaining tenancy.
Based on recommendations from Shelter Cymru’s Report “In the know but not in education” a need has been identified to provide comprehensive information, aimed specifically at young people outlining housing options, how to access, difficulties of independent living, relationship breakdown and how to maintain and keep a tenancy.
As a partnership we realised the importance of emphasising and promoting ‘good tenancy’ with benefits to ASB, communities, homelessness prevention and to the tenant themselves, building on basic skills through support and education, increased confidence and social inclusion of often a ‘hard to reach’ groups.
We developed a leaflet, in consultation with young people that will provide them all the information they need to make an informed decision before leaving home and, having made that decision will outline the possible options, things they need to consider and responsibilities that will be theirs. We have also developed a ‘sign-posting’ card to go with the leaflet with contacts for all relevant agencies and support groups in the area, a second phase to the project will be to develop USB containing the information in different formats and a short film made by and with young people demonstrating the possible scenarios facing young people.
The leaflet will be rolled out through classroom sessions, Bus Stop and youth projects and especially those working with core NEET and ‘at risk NEET’ groups.
We have consulted with young people who use the Bus Stop provision and also local 6th formers with regards to the design, language and content of the leaflet and hosted a large consultation event for young people the ‘Youth Information Festival’. The aim of which was to bring young people together from across the county providing advice and guidance on a range of issues whilst also consulting on the content of the leaflet we used the event as a vehicle to assess current knowledge of housing options and difficulties by young people.
Following this consultation the leaflet is now ready to be launched ad rolled out to young people. It is also a possibility (and aim) to have the leaflet picked up regionally, as consultation with young people has shown that current provision and content is poorly targeted and irrelevant.