Borough Council Host Reception for Supported Lodgings Hosts

  • 5 October 2017

On Wednesday the 4th of October, Rushmoor Borough Council hosted an informal evening reception to recognise the commitment, and difference made to the community, by Step by Step's Supported Lodgings Hosts.

Two of our Supported Lodgings team took along 12 hosts to have their contribution to the community recognised by Councillor David Clifford, leader of Rushmoor Borough Council. Deputy Mayor of Rushmoor, Steve Masterson, also attended to show his personal appreciation for these hosts and their support for young people.

Supported Lodgings offer a safe place for a young person to live, as a lodger, with support from a Step by Step Support Worker. Supported Lodgings Hosts have been supporting young people in the Rushmoor area for the last 19 years. Over that time, 137 young people have been supported through the service in this area.

Debbie Moreton, Head of Young People's Services said,

"Our Hosts are very often the unsung heroes of Step by Step's work with young people. They, and the young person they're hosting, are supported with full training and a dedicated support worker, but Hosts often go over and above to deliver the best experience and opportunity to the young person (or people) staying in their home."

Rob Hawthorn, a host in attendance said,

"It is nice to be appreciated in this way."

One of Step by Step's longest standing hosts, Tony, was at the event to celebrate 15 years of him and his wife Rita hosting young people in their home. Over that time, Tony and Rita have supported 44 young people, including mother and baby placements, and do not intend to stop just yet. We sent Dee, our Communications Manager, to meet Tony and Rita ahead of the reception. They told her that they have seen young people go on to university, one qualify as a social worker, several get married, some have children, and in their words, they have "seen all sorts".

Dee also met Shay who is staying with them today. Shay said,

"They've been a massive help to me. Literally changed my life completely."

Rita and Tony have children and grandchildren of their own, and every young person who's stayed with them in a Supported Lodgings placement has been welcome and encouraged to be part of the family. Rita spends time cooking with young people, while Tony has a way of putting young people at ease with his jokes.

Many of the young people who've stayed with Tony and Rita have stayed in touch, some visit regularly. Rita said of young people who have moved on,

"The door's always open, the kettle is always on. If there is cake, you can have cake. If I've got it, you're welcome to it."

Today, Step by Step have 20 hosts offering placements to up to 25 young people in Rushmoor, and have 22 young people in placement today.

To join our wonderful team of hosts, or simply to find out more about what's entailed, please click here.

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