Major funding boost for vulnerable adults

Brand new accommodation for some of the borough's most vulnerable adults was given a boost this week, as the council's Cabinet approved a contribution of £300,000 towards the redevelopment of a local YMCA hostel.

Senior council staff and Councillors holding cheques

The work will provide much-improved supported accommodation for vulnerable adults, replacing the long-standing facility at Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City with 100 self-contained studios alongside substantial communal and life-skill development areas. The building will include counselling areas, outside spaces, therapy spaces, a training kitchen and communal living rooms for residents - all known to support good mental wellbeing.

The council is working in partnership with One YMCA, Hertfordshire County Council and Homes England, to support the delivery of the project, worth over £14m. One YMCA works closely with the council's housing options team, with a significant proportion of the current referrals to the scheme coming from the council.  The team also has emergency provision in the hostel, delivering part of the council's commitment to ending rough sleeping locally.

The council's £300,000 contribution comes from the government's Better Care Fund.

Cllr Fiona Thomson, the council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

"We are extremely pleased to be able to contribute a significant sum to this important project. The proposed hostel will provide a supportive environment for vulnerable people with a range of needs and health circumstances.  The aim is to provide a suitable home for a period during which they can be supported to move toward full independent living."

YMCA Chief Operating Officer, Mark Turner, added: "We exist as a charity to support everyone in our communities to live life to the full, especially those experiencing multiple disadvantages. Over the last year alone we have supported 1115 vulnerable individuals to escape homelessness and rough sleeping across Hertfordshire, helping 679 move on positively into their own homes.

"We can only achieve these great outcomes thanks to the amazing joint working across local public and third sector organisations - it's genuinely superb - and that approach will be key to us being able to now deliver a brand new (and equally amazing) new YMCA Hostel here in Welwyn Garden City."