New centre helps Sunderland’s young people in care become independent

Ian Mearns MP (left) and Phil Stobart
Ian Mearns MP (left) and Phil Stobart
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A NEW centre to help young adults make the move from care to living on their own has opened in Sunderland.

Forever Care’s base in Toward Road was officially opened by MP Ian Mearns, who has a particular interest in the subject.

Mr Mearns, MP for Gateshead, said: “I am a member of the Commons Education Select Committee, and we conducted a report earlier this year called ‘16 plus care options’.

“We want to see more of this kind of facility.

“It is not just about the buildings, it is about making sure young people are provided with the support they need to become independent and giving them a stable environment.”

Manager Phil Stobart said the centre would be helping people aged between 16 and 21.

He said: “We help them to move from supported living, through being semi-independent to full independence.

“Because of some of the problems these young people have experienced, they can have difficulty building relationships and genuine trust.

“They need stable support they know they can rely on.

“We are talking about young people who have not had that supportive home environment.

“You can’t just expect them to make the transition on to adulthood.

“Sometimes they will make that move quickly, but other times they will need that support to be on-going.

“We have residential space for eight young people at the moment, with another eight bedrooms across on the other side of the building, so it will be 16 in total.”

Mr Stobart said Forever Care had put together a team with the knowledge and experience to provide the support needed.

He said: “All our staff are qualified to at least NVQ level 3.”