By Jess Clarke, Project Manager
Previously Rotherham Federation had tried to bring together and support a young tenants group, this went well and RMBC worked with the group to make slight changes over the last year. However, recently members have drifted apart from the group setting. Following this Rotherham Federation decided to work to bring this group back to life again and engage with more young people.
In July I met with workers from rush house and target housing, two organisations who work closely with young people and can offer a good insight into the issues they are facing currently in Rotherham today. Rotherham Federation discussed the best way to form and support a young persons group around their issues and after much conversation we decided to aim for supporting a group of young parents around tackling their issues.
I organised a meeting for the end of July at Rotherham Rise, and had 6 families book on to attend our initial group meeting. On the day the room location seemed to cause an issue and only 2 families actually attended. However, even though the meeting was only to a small scale a lot of useful information was gained.
The success of this story is that we found out these main issues young parents are facing today:
- Information is not easy to access
- Training is not easily available or accessible with a new born child (eg first aid)
- Housing information is limited. Many do not understand the housing officer role or have not had sufficient contact/support from them
- Support. The main support has been from Target Housing- if this was not available a lot of young parents would not know where to turn to
I then had the conversation with the young parents on how we could all address these issues and these were the solutions they came up with themselves:
- Creation of a Facebook page to share information we all get/find out to help one another
- Getting information printed on useful placed, eg the back of council tax letters
- Passing information on to RMBC about the housing team and ask for more information. Eg- a leaflet they could use to drop at houses explaining what they do and a contact number if we ever needed them
- More support for young parents. ‘We often get judged a lot so ensuring events/activities are promoted with ‘children are allowed’ eg at AHP meetings’.
Although this group has a VERY long way to go there were 2 leaders which seem to want to drive this project forward. A Facebook page has been set up and I will be passing this project onto Kathryn our new Project Manager to drive forward after I leave. I have passed the feedback around housing services onto the tenant involvement team so they are aware- and they are happy to work closely with the group once formed in the future. Although this isn’t a success story at present- I see this as being the start of a successful group over the next year with Rotherham Federation supporting.