Exterior of The Foyer on the Isle of Wight

Foyer for the Island receives national accreditation

The Foyer on the Isle of Wight - a 45-bed place where young people experiencing homelessness can live for as long as they need to - has gained national accreditation for ‘its impressive commitment to investment in young people’.

Foyers provide safe accommodation, as well as development opportunities, employability support and a nurturing environment where residents can live, learn and grow.

There are 55 Foyers in the UK, run by 30 different housing associations, and members of the Federation are encouraged to aim for accreditation, though only 20 in the UK have currently achieved this recognition.

Seini Haynes, lead supported housing manager for Sovereign, said: “The endorsement and accreditation process - called FOR Youth - takes a year to attain and demands that a Foyer demonstrate that it invests in young people's assets and potential, encouraging positive, long-term thinking about their future. The assessment also provides a quality assurance framework that demonstrates a service's impact and value to stakeholders.”

Sovereign Housing Association won the contract to continue providing services at the Foyer for the next seven years, in summer 2020. The length of time already invested, and the organisation’s commitment to the future of the service were also contributing factors in it being awarded the accreditation.

Ross, one of the young people living at the Foyer, said: “It’s great that the Foyer gained this official accreditation. Every staff member at the Foyer is good at what they do and do the best they can to help everyone. The Foyer has stopped me going down a bad path and has made me feel good about myself and made me feel like I have the tools to push through any challenges. The Foyer is a nice place to live and staff take on board ideas we have and our opinions matter.”

The organisation has also recently attracted a £5k grant from The Daisie Rich Trust to support its young residents, with Sovereign providing a further £1k towards two initiatives.

Toby Eaglen, community development officer, said: “This funding will provide resources for the Foyer’s ‘tenancy ready’ workshops, including sessions on budgeting, health and well-being, cooking and cleaning and financial advice. It will also contribute towards furniture, white goods, contents insurance and internet connectivity when these young people move on to live independently.”