Helping hand

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Anyone with a spare bed in their home and a determination to make a real difference, may be interested in the new ‘Crashpad’ scheme being launched by the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The scheme is intended to assist young people over the age of 16, who are in crisis and temporarily homeless. The service will help vulnerable teenagers and young people who need a short term, emergency place to stay after family breakdown or crisis, for up to eight weeks. In order to do this, Barnardo’s needs beds in caring homes with people who can offer support to a young person in crisis.

The scheme is being coordinated by Deputy Children’s Services Manager at Barnardo’s, Carol Preston. She said, “We need people who are pretty special, who are non judgemental and who are interested in helping to make a real difference at a critical time in a person’s life. People who have no difficulty communicating with young people, who have spent time with youngsters and who have shared their living space with them.”

She added, “People will not end up out of pocket - a weekly fee is paid - and training and support will be given.”

There are several steps for anyone interested in the scheme: First they will receive a house visit in order to discuss the scheme and the issues involved. Then if there is still an interest, they will fill in an application form, provide references, and go through the appropriate police checks.

It is a short term commitment but one that will provide people with the chance to do something truly worthwhile, helping a young person in need.