Our North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway service, supports young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Practical support is provided to help young people into accommodation, but with a long term view the support aims to prepare young people for independent living at the end of the pathway and reduce risk of homelessness in the future. In Scarborough, our young person’s hostel, Mercury House, has capacity to house 19 young people, who without support may find themselves homeless; sofa surfing or out on the street.

The hostel is made up of 19 bedsit style rooms and customers need to budget for rent, heating and food.

Support is provided on a 1-2-1 basis, but there are also shared facilities for socialising and group activities, an essential element of the pathway, which prioritises measures of social inclusion in its desired outcomes for customers. These customers often arrive in the pathway requiring support with budgeting, independent living skills and developing positive social networks that may provide an alternative to engaging in anti-social behaviours.

Staff working in the hostel are passionate about their work and have a deep respect for the young people they work with, meeting their issues without judgement.

The team have developed an atmosphere of honesty and transparency, where the young people are held accountable for their behaviours and yet can comfortably reach out for help and are recognised for their progress.

Over the winter the Mercury House customers and staff have enjoyed a tour of foods from around the world in their regular (and popular!) cooking activity group (diary and photographs are shared below).

The group aims to support the young people to cook and budget for healthy eating. The round the world tour also gives the opportunity for discussions that open minds about the cultures behind what may be simply perceived as ‘take away’ food, tackling any negative stereotypes. Customers are encouraged to reflect on their own diet, try something new and share their own skills, teaching others and working together as a team to provide a meal for the group and guests. The social aspects of the group also create opportunities to build relationships beyond the confines of the hostel. Positive relationships between this customer group and the local police force aim to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime, a benefit to the wider community as well as the young people looking towards a brighter future.

Mercury House are holding an official launch event on 23rd March, 11am – to 1pm. Please get in touch with Kira Lumb to find out more – everyone is welcome! Kira.lumb@foundationuk.org

4 of our YP came to the group fit kit so I decided to base it around healthy eating, we got some paper and all together thought of healthy and non-healthy food, it made us all think of what our diet consisted of which did shock some of us. I asked if anyone would be interested in a gym pass as we now have some, 2 YP did which is great. We’re starting our round the world food tour next week!

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Tonight 4 YP made an Indian curry with rice. All participated well with the cooking and each had their own job. As we sat and ate the meal we discussed how we had all cooked it and how everyone carried out their own individual roles as well as working as part of a team.

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American Burger night this week’s choice. Even the local Police crashed our cooking session. Great session and enjoyed by all involved. Ross said “This was the best burger I have ever had” A discussion was had about the advantages of preparing food from fresh as opposed to takeaway products. Not only was this cheaper but, healthier and tastier.

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Mark (a customer) taught other customers and staff how to make Chinese Soup. Mark did fantastic and enjoyed sharing his skills with other customers. Mark did all the shopping using our donated vouchers and spent less than £15 on fantastic ingredients to feed the whole group.
Mark said, ‘it was so good, it’s exactly how I make it all the time’
Callum was surprised, ‘this tastes really nice actually, I wasn’t expecting to like it.’

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