Property company Andrews this week unveiled a £500,000 home purchased in Purley as part of an innovative social housing project, called Establish, to help youngsters from Croydon adjust to independent life after living in care.
The Andrews estate agency business, which has a branch in Purley, celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016 and raised £70,000 to kick-start this ambitious project. They went on to launch their first Establish home in Bristol a year later and a second in Sutton last year.
Long-term, the project aims to provide 50 homes to local charities within 50 years.
The property unveiled this week is a three-bedroom semi-detached house with a garden in a quiet residential street between Purley and Kenley.
ACT, the Andrews Charitable Trust, invests in buying and leasing property to CAYSH, a specialist young people’s organisation commissioned by Croydon Council to support people aged between 18 and 25 who are leaving the council’s care services.
The investment has allowed ACT to buy the three-bedroom house in Purley, which will become home to three care leavers who are ready for this final step to independence. CAYSH will provide employment-focused support, while the council’s Gateway service will also help the residents to improve their independence, maximise their job prospects and avoid debt.
“Whilst it felt that we were being incredibly ambitious when we launched Establish, the fact that we’ve now got three homes up and running, with more in the pipeline, just goes to show how focused the entire team is to making this a success,” said David Westgate, the group CEO at Andrews Property Group.
“Our commitment at Andrews to ensuring that our staff and customers alike are invested in the social purpose for which we were first established is strong, and launching another home for Croydon Council care leavers underpins that.
“But this is not just a case of providing young people with a home. We want to offer them with wider support that encompasses everything from skills development, training and advice on career options, through to how to approach issues around personal finance and other aspects of independent living.
“We’re delighted to again be partnering with CAYSH who have proved to be an ideal partner at the home we launched in Sutton just over a year ago.”
Ann Tighe, the chief executive of the George Street-based CAYSH, said: “What Andrews Property Group and Andrews Charitable Trust do together is a true example of social philanthropy making a tangible difference.
“It’s been a pleasure to partner with them over the past year and knowing that we’ll now be able to help more young people with the launch of this new home is something we’re all very excited about.”
Establish was created to provide long-term housing options for young people leaving care in the communities where the firm operates. The project aims to provide affordable transitional accommodation, light-touch emotional and personal support (when needed) and access to help in finding and sustaining work to facilitate the independence of these young people and ultimately reduce their reliance on state support.
The charity partners which Andrews work with to deliver this, such as CAYSH which has been providing accommodation, support and advice to young homeless people for almost 40 years, are key to its success. Members of Andrews’ staff have also trained to work as mentors so that they are able to provide support to the young people and in doing so, ensure that their involvement in the project has longevity beyond the initial fundraising and property purchase.
Nathan Moore works for Andrews and has himself experienced life in care. He’s had training as a mentor. “Having been in care, I understand the challenges that these young people are facing,” he said.
“The processes of becoming an independent adult is difficult enough at the best of times, but for those young people leaving the care system the challenges are often amplified if they don’t receive support and guidance.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with some of these young people as a mentor and, hopefully, provide them with the support they need to thrive as they transition in to work or training and get used to living independently.”
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