A homeless centre in Winsford which provides a safe haven for homeless women was featured on BBC Breakfast News today to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and the support available.
Two residents of Cotswold House, Kelsey and Alisha, were interviewed by Sabrina Cohen Hatton for the feature, the West Sussex Fire Chief who dealt with the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy and spent some time as a youth experiencing homelessness.
Kelsey, aged 17, moved into Cotswold House this month and shared with Sabrina her experiences of homeless, which she experienced after a difficult time living at home. She has been getting support to enable her to move into her own tenancy when she turns 18. Alisha, 23, came to Cotswold House in 2018 following a family breakdown, and has recently moved into her own home.
Both talked about the importance of services like Cotswold House, which provides safe and supportive supported accommodation for women from the age of 16 upwards. The service provides a safe haven where they are valued and respected as individuals to gain valuable life skills to enable them to move onto and into their own homes.
The project; owned and run by Cheshire housing association, Weaver Vale Housing Trust, works closely with residents to support them in building independent living skills such as cooking, budgeting, emotional wellbeing and healthy relationships. The Costwold House team also work closely with the women to better understand their life aspirations and career goals, working closely with many other agencies in the local area.
Angela Kandeh, Weaver Vale Housing Trust Manager at Cotswold House, said: “This was such a valuable opportunity to highlight the vital need for services like Cotswold House in tackling homelessness and providing the right support to help people like Kelsey and Alisha rebuild their lives and gain the skills they need to move on into a home of their own.
“They have both really come out of their shell while at Cotswold House and gained in confidence and their stories which they have so bravely shared we hope will help to raise awareness of the challenges of homelessness and give hope to others experiencing similar situations.”
Sabrina Cohen Hatton, commented: “I was moved by the quiet strength and inner resilience if both Kelsey and Alisha. The work that this project does is so important. It's not just the physical aspects of accommodation, but the sense of community and support it provides to help young women transition from a place of extreme vulnerability to security and beyond.”
Pictured Sabrina Cohen-Hatton with Ailsha an ex resident of Cotswold House