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25 years of helping young people

Jackie and Mike have provided supported lodgings for young people in their home for 25 years.

Supported Lodgings is a service that provides a young person with a room of their own in a private home to help prepare them for living on their own.

They explain how they became supported lodging carers:

"We got into providing a supported lodging by accident. We put our details on an accommodation list at the local college and we had a call asking if we would take a homeless young person to live with us and it has evolved since then. The Hardings provide a safe and supportive environment to help and support young people to gain skills for independent adult life.

"Our kids have been very accepting, and we've only had a couple of placements that didn't get on. Mostly young people lodging with us integrate with the family, have friends over and everyone mucks in together."

Every young person who has stayed with them has different experiences and needs. Families who provide lodgings are not on their own with support from social workers and other professionals to help the young person become independent.

"We work with them to learn every day skills like budgeting, cleaning and cooking."

Chloe is 19 and is lodging with Jackie and Mike. She has spent a lot of time within the foster care. She says:

"It's the best placement I've ever been in. it's home. It's lovely knowing that you're not moving on. I can do my college course without worrying.

Chloe is taking a performing arts course at college and she's working in a care home part-time to earn money to pay for driving lessons and a holiday.

If you have a spare room and think you can help a young person become independent then visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/become-a-supported-lodgings-carer to find out more.

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