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Youngsters plead rethink on sudden closure of Bridport's Foyer scheme
VULNERABLE youngsters have pleaded for a rethink on the shock closure of Bridport’s pioneering Foyer scheme.
Stunned local politicians now want to force the authorities concerned to reconsider the move, which will see an end to the 24-hour supervised residential care and support for young adults at the Foyer.
The 17 young residents currently looked after at West Rivers House in West Allington in Bridport will be moved out after the current contract ends next month.
Dorset County Council pays for the service and has awarded the contract to Bournemouth Churches Housing Association after current providers YouTrust did not bid because of reduced funding.
Magna’s head of housing, Jez Morris, said it was informed in December that West Rivers House was no longer needed.
The social housing provider is now looking at its options for the building and is willing to consider approaches from interested parties.
Young residents say the Foyer has provided a lifeline for them and in many cases, saved them from a life on the streets.
A spokesman for BCHA said the youngsters will still be supported in their new homes with various options – including a 24-hour ‘I-support’ scheme, adding: “There are a range of options available, including an intensively 24-hour staffed scheme.
“Support will be provided on a visiting support basis that is needs-led and outcome focused for the individual.
“Each person will have a designated keyworker who will be working with them to develop their independence.
“Residents will receive support based around their individual needs, including learning and personal development, with an emphasis on responsibility, skills and increasing their capacity to exercise choice and achieve greater independence in all aspects of their life.”
They have helped me
MICHAEL Boniface, pictured, is starting a ‘proper’ job at the new Premier Inn in Dorchester this week and says it’s all down to the Foyer.
Michael, 21, from Weymouth, admits he was drifting and flirting with alcohol and drugs when he arrived at the Foyer last November.
“I had never been in trouble with the police, but I had made some stupid choices of my own and I was at a loose end,” he said.
“I had no motivation to do anything at all. I was just floating. But this week I start as part of the housekeeping team at the Premier Inn.
“I have been helped to get a bus pass and they are helping me to sort out my provisional licence, so I can learn to drive.
“The staff here have taught me you just can’t go on without paying your bills.
“They have helped me build up my confidence and now I can work from that.”
Michael says he first heard about big changes at the Foyer about two weeks ago.
“It does feel like it has just been dropped on us.
“It is crazy to move us into houses.”