“It’s been a rollercoaster ride but I would do it all again.”
Diane from Fenham has just completed her first Supported Lodgings placement, which involves offering accommodation and emotional support to young people aged between 16 and 21.
The scheme acts as a stepping stone, helping young people develop the skills they need to live independently.
“I got a phone call on 1 August last year about an emergency placement which became our first Supported Lodgings placement,” explained Diane, who lives with her husband and daughter in Newcastle.
“Amy had been in care from a young age and she ended up staying with us for just under a year. As well as giving her a place to live we helped her to enrol in college and learn about budgeting and housework. She’s come along with us when we’ve visited my parents in the North West – just like a part of the family.”
Diane and her husband first looked into Supported Lodgings in 2016 as an alternative to fostering, as it meant that Diane could still work part time.
“It’s not like having a lodger to stay, the young person becomes a part of the household and you see them learning new things and maturing.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride but I would do it all again.
“If someone else was thinking about doing the same I’d tell them it’s challenging but really rewarding at the same time,” said Diane. “We’ve really enjoyed having Amy here and spending time with her – now she’s gone the house is very quiet!”