By Phillip Morrison-Gale
Over the past 6 years, ‘The Hub Project’ has provided a wide range of housing and skills outreach activities to meet the individual needs of Looked after Children (LAC) aging out of care in the Shetland Islands. Service users of the Hub were provided with safe, comfortable accommodation and regular access to support workers during their engagement with the project. Activities included help with the practical aspects of managing a tenancy such as budgeting, cooking and gatekeeping, as well as exploring work and training opportunities.
The knowledge and skills that the project’s service users have gained directly through their engagement and participation with the project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Shetland Islands Council, has provided young people with the necessary abilities to secure permanent accommodation, access employment or training and building positive relationships with others and their community. The Care Inspectorate recently rated the project as ‘excellent’ in the quality of care and support as well as the quality of leadership and management themes.
Hjaltland’s head of housing and customer service Phillip Morrison-Gale said ‘during the lifetime of the project, Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council’s throughcare and aftercare service have worked in partnership to support a number of young people with the aim of providing a setting in which they could engage in a safe, holistic environment and start to develop relationships and skills which will supported their transition into their own tenancies. We are extremely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their generous financial support over the past 6 years which has helped a number of young people in Shetland to achieve improved social outcomes’.