The Tyneside Foyer, run by Home Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of social housing and care services, provides safe and secure accommodation for up to 72 disadvantaged youngsters aged 16 – 24 years old.
The open day marked a further celebration of the Foyer’s track record in helping vulnerable youngsters, who have nowhere else to go, turn themselves around and transform their prospects through gaining new skills and increased self-confidence.
Staff and residents were joined by Baroness Diana Warwick of Undercliffe, the chair of the National Housing Federation, and more than 200 guests, who included local agency partners such as Crisis and businesses including Parlour Ice Cream and Starbucks.
Also lending its support with food demonstrations was the Newcastle outlet of Jamie Oliver’s kitchen.
Visitors saw the new investments that have been made by Home Group to improve the facilities and the services at the Westgate Road site, including a new courtyard, training area and leisure facilities.
One of the Foyer’s success stories – Joseph Ranson, 23, from Wallsend – was also on hand to serve up sausages and burgers freshly cooked to order.
He came to the Foyer in 2014 and thanks to the hard work of the team, has transformed his life, undertaking a catering apprenticeship delivered by Home Group after discovering a passion for food.
He said: “I had nothing when I came here but now the future is much brighter. The team at the Foyer have been extremely supportive and encouraging and now I’m a lively outgoing chef with a career in catering to look forward to.”
The open day was organised by Home Group client services manager Faye Hunter, who said guests were able to see first-hand the work undertaken by the Foyer.
She said: “Today has been very successful, and I would like to thank everyone for coming.
“Their continued support is hugely appreciated and I’m sure they’ve been able to see the importance and value of the work carried out in helping hundreds of vulnerable youngsters get back on their feet.”
Andrew Burnip, director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle, said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and showcase partnership working in the city and the excellent work of the foyer in providing services that truly transform the lives of young people.
“Crisis is proud to be a partner and look forward to even greater partnership working in the future to help young people gain their independence”.