Just as community-led responses made all the difference in lockdown, community support makes all the difference to supported housing projects too and Frome Foyer is a shining example of how working together benefits everyone and fosters belonging and citizenship.
Currently there are 11 individuals or community organisations working with Frome Foyer to support the young people living there and enhance their opportunities and the project; and this is something we hope to develop in other projects too. From the local Police Community Support Officer popping in for a cuppa and a chat and overcoming some of the negative stereotypes some young people have of the Police; to our Chaplains who offer emotional support to the staff team and Frome Pioneers who visit on Sundays and cook and eat alongside our young people, informally mentoring them.
Then there is Food at Five, which provides 3 free meals a week for people on low income (and deliver any spare meals to the project) as well as the Community Fridge volunteers, who are saving food from landfill by making it freely available in community fridges, feeding those who need it and donating any surplus to Frome Foyer.
When people are ready for independent living and about to move into their own accommodation, Fair Frome provides good quality second-hand furniture and PAT tested electrical items and Pure also recycles unwanted furniture to people leaving supported housing. Trinity Crew, from Trinity Church, will also help move furniture and undertake small ‘odd jobs’ free of charge.
And that’s not all – Frome Medical Practice have gone above and beyond by donating some mobile phones and tablets, a retired counsellor provides a listening ear, an artist is offering to provide art classes and we are looking into subsidised community transport. How fantastic is that?
A very big and heartfelt thank you to all of these people and organisations for their support.