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Opening doors for young people

Devon and Cornwall Housing Association are the major providers of Foyers in the south west.







Units of Foyer accommodation and support across Cornwall and Devon for 16 – 25 year olds.

We also provide help to more than 150 other young people each year, who don’t live in a Foyer but are making the transition to get their lives back on track.

young people aged 16 –18 years living in Cornwall and Devon.


of 16-18 year olds (2668) in Cornwall and Devon are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Many of these young people come to Foyers for help. 2

of our young residents engage with training, education or employment whilst living at a Foyer.

of our young residents are able to make a planned move to independent living after being at a Foyer for more than 12 months.

Annual cost of one DCHA Foyer placement. (The annual cost of one placement in a Secure Training Centre would be £164,736).

welcome C

an you remember how little you knew of life when you were young, when you first left home and moved into your own flat? The little that you did know probably took a lot of learning and help from others. At Devon and Cornwall Foyers our staff play a crucial role in helping residents develop those skills for independent living. This is successful because our staff are specialists in working with young people. They have appropriate qualifications, strong core skills and a variety of additional talents that enhance our activity programmes. Our recruitment process is thorough: we select those most able to make a difference. We provide continuous, personal training

and our staff are developed as a team, because we know that stronger teams do a better job. Our outcomes show a high success rate. We attribute this to the strong desire that our residents have to develop themselves. Further on in this publication you can read young peoples’ own stories and gain an insight into how they face their own challenges. We hope this gives you a taste of life inside the Foyers managed by Devon and Cornwall Housing Association. Our Foyers are very special places, which open doors for young people who really need accommodation, and want to get their lives on track so that eventually they can live independently.


opening doors for young people



he teenage years can be difficult and complex for young people to navigate. They are entering a period when the pressure to grow up, pass exams, please their parents, win approval from friends, get a job and develop the skills to live independently can seem overwhelming. Many young people get through this transition with a combination of their own hard work plus support from family and friends. But for others it just doesn’t work out like that. Those family relationships may not be strong enough to cope with the strain of this demanding phase of life. Or the family may have broken up and be unable to provide the necessary support and positive role models. Some young people may have already become homeless, some may be in unsafe situations. There are many reasons why young people come to our door for help, and many stories that they tell us when they do.

homelessness and learning. It also serves as a forum for sharing best practice, innovation and access to specialist programmes and funding.

Foyers in Cornwall and Devon Foyers came to the region in 2000, when Devon and Cornwall Housing Association opened their first Foyer in Plymouth. It provides 50 units of accommodation for young people who are homeless or in need of housing, and other services, many of which are open to the wider community. The success of this first Foyer led us to develop more, and we now manage other Foyers in Torbay, Launceston, Bodmin, Padstow, Truro and Redruth. For further information about our work read Meet the Foyers on page 8.

When did the Foyer movement begin? Foyers began in France after the second world war to help young people who needed to relocate to find work. The idea was adapted for the UK and in 1992 the Foyer Federation instigated the development of a small network of Foyers. Today there are over 130 UK Foyers supporting more than 10,000 homeless young people a year. The Foyer Federation provides an accreditation scheme to monitor quality standards in Foyers. It is regarded as an accepted authority on issues relating to young people,


what we do W

e employ more than thirty staff and manage seven Foyers across Cornwall and Devon, providing accommodation for up to 119 young people (aged 16 – 25) at any one time. Our referral process assesses whether we can offer a person the help they need, and when someone moves into a Foyer, a specialist key worker will assist them to create their own Personal Development Plan. This pinpoints what they need to do to move towards independence. We place a big emphasis on education, training and employment as a means of breaking the “no home -- no job – no home“ cycle.

Housing All residents of Devon and Cornwall Foyers get good quality accommodation, with their own bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Usually they share a kitchen and living space with a few others, which helps build a sense of community.

Top left: Foyer residents preparing for a sailing voyage. Above: Working on a Personal Development Plan.

Support The support we offer is constantly evolving. We are always seeking creative ways to either help people directly, or assist them to access education, training and employment. We have specialist staff who can help young people choose the best options for them and we even have in-house accredited learning programmes – a stepping stone to getting back on the learning ladder. We also provide counselling, and work in partnership with other agencies if residents have mental health needs, or significant problems with drugs and alcohol.


Most residents start by needing some support with basic living skills, so we run many programmes on subjects such as healthy eating, budgeting and cooking. Also, as many residents struggled in the education system, we support them to improve their maths, English and computer skills. Our Foyers are located in an area renowned for its natural beauty, and many residents get involved in activities like sailing and rock climbing, which take advantage of this, and also help boost confidence and self esteem.

Community The Foyer concept embraces the idea that individual Foyers should provide facilities for the communities in which they are located. In Devon and Cornwall these include cafés, office space and meeting rooms. This helps residents get involved in their communities, and also encourages the communities to support the Foyer. In some cases it also enables Foyers to generate income.

The personal development plan When people apply to Foyers they go through several stages, the last of which is a needs assessment. When they move into a Foyer the needs identified in this assessment are encapsulated in a personal development plan (PDP). Residents meet regularly with their support worker, maybe weekly at first, and then monthly, to assess progress towards the various objectives in their PDP. It is not a token piece of paper that has no bearing on what happens, but a living, evolving document created by the person themselves. PDPs make the work of Foyers unique. Not only do we offer accommodation with all the rights associated with that, but we say to the residents “you are taking on responsibilities by living here, too.” What those responsibilities are will vary from person to person, as each PDP is different, but they are all directed towards achieving independence.

Involving young people Because our work is focused on helping young people achieve independence, we place great importance on offering them opportunities to engage with our governance and programme development activities. This involvement can include running residents meetings and participating in staff recruitment. The range of involvement is diverse, young people are good at telling us what needs to change in their service, and how they might get involved.

Left: Residents at Bodmin Foyer.


meet the Foyers 1 left to right: Plymouth Foyer, Redruth Foyer -- IT suite, Launceston Foyer

All Foyers offer a combination of accommodation and support services for disadvantaged young people, but within Devon and Cornwall each individual Foyer has its own characteristics. Plymouth Opened January 2000 Fifty bedspaces

Launceston Opened June 2002 Five bedspaces

Plymouth Foyer, the biggest in Devon and Cornwall, integrates newly built flats within a refurbished warehouse. As well as accommodation for 50 young people, it houses a café, which is open to the public, and conference facilities, both of which generate income. It also has a well-equipped media suite that includes music, podcasting and video production facilities. It is one of eight nationally-networked Foyer Media Centres.

In housing terms, Launceston Foyer is our smallest project, providing five flats in the town centre. It also acts as a base for services for up to 50 young people in crisis, who live in the vicinity.

Redruth Opened February 2002 Ten bedspaces

Torbay March 2004 Twenty bedspaces

Redruth Foyer is part of a larger project regenerating an area in the centre of Redruth. The project also includes an underground market area with shops and a café, and a library for Cornish studies. The Foyer itself houses ten people, and has a meeting room and IT suite, both of which can be used by residents and the wider community.

Torbay Foyer was built on the site of the old South Devon College and provides homes for 20 young people. It has a cafe, a music recording studio, a large computer suite, and a theatre space, all of which can be used by the local community as well as residents.


Recently, a former resident of Launceston Foyer was selected out of 300 applicants to train and work in Jamie Oliver’s new Foundation 15 restaurant in Newquay.

Above: Residents at Plymouth Foyer.


left to right: Residents at Bodmin Foyer, Residents at Padstow Foyer, Residents enjoying the garden at Truro Foyer.

meet the Foyers 2 Padstow Opened July 2004 Six bedspaces

Truro Opened July 2008 Twelve bedspaces

Padstow Foyer provides accommodation for six residents, and is linked to a community learning building. This provides a number of educational opportunities, space for a local youth club, and a home for the local branch of the Cornwall public library service.

Our most recently opened Foyer is superbly located in the city centre of Truro. This building was previously used by a different client group and has been refurbished to a high standard with six flats each shared by two young people. There is a separate meeting room available for hire and a separate training kitchen for young people to develop independent living skills.

Bodmin Opened June 2006 Sixteen bedspaces Situated in the middle of the High Street, Bodmin Foyer can accommodate 16 people, including four ‘move on’ flats. These prepare people for living completely independently, but residents can still get support if they need it. Bodmin Foyer includes office space let to Connexions, the information and advice service for young people.


Devon and Cornwall Housing Association is committed to developing further schemes for young people, where need is identified and funding permits.

Above: Residents at Torbay Foyer.


“ ” case studies

Kerri Kerri came to Torbay Foyer when she was 16 and left at 18. Her problems started when her parents split up and her mum remarried. Kerri found it hard to get on with her step dad, which also led to conflict with her mum. “The reason I never got on with my step dad was because I wanted my mum and dad to get back together. The arguing got so bad that I was thrown out of my home. I decided to live with my auntie but this did not solve anything as she has a big family and we were on top of each other. I couldn’t concentrate at school and decided to see the school counsellor. She referred me to the Foyer.

I had three meetings at the Foyer and thought the staff were lovely, they made me feel so welcome. During my first year staff helped me get in to South Devon College, which was great. I finally felt like I was someone. My key worker helped me loads. She started to make me believe that if you want something so bad, you can get it if you put your mind to it. I finished college in June 2006 and got my NVQ 1 in Childcare. I was really proud of myself for sticking to something.”

Kerri went on to complete her NVQ 2 and hopes to start her own child minding business. Although she has now left the Foyer she sometimes still contacts staff for advice and support. Warren Before Warren was referred to Redruth Foyer he was lodging with friends of his foster parents, but he had been asked to leave as they felt that he was untidy. Before that Warren lived with his foster parents in the local area, but the placement broke down when he was 18.


Warren had worked as a cook in a supermarket for a time but he had to leave this job while living in temporary accommodation in another area, as he could not afford the travel expenses. He had also done a lot of voluntary work. When Warren did his Foyer needs assessment he said he would like to do a college course in animal care, with a view to going on to teach the subject. Warren needed support to work out how to achieve his goal, and was referred to Connexions, the information and advice service for young people, as soon as he came to the Foyer. Warren has now started course and is seeking an animal care work placement. “The Foyer has helped me to achieve my goals in planning for the future. These are to go to university and gain a teaching qualification, so that I can teach children and young people to care for animals and the environment around them.”

Karl “I was 20 when I first moved into the Foyer. I hadn’t been having the best of times and because of this I took drugs to get away from it all. Being around other residents who had also been through tough times really opened my eyes. I began to realise there was more to life than taking drugs and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. I was already working as a painter and decorator and the Foyer really helped me by working on my self-confidence. They got me in touch with the Job Centre, helping me to focus on what I wanted to do as a career Also the Foyer has helped me by getting me a permanent home and a permanent job as a trainee plumber, which will involve me going back to college one day a week.”

Matt “As I look back to when I first moved into the Foyer two years ago, I realise how much it has helped me. I was not as confident as I am now and I wasn’t at all prepared to move into my own place. But I’m now about to move into my own place with my girlfriend (who I wouldn’t have met were it not for the Foyer).

the first issue I had to address. My keyworker and I had numerous discussions about my dependencies and called the relevant agencies that could help. I decided YPC (Young Persons Centre) would be most useful as the counselling would be able to help me understand my emotional feelings that cause me to self-destruct with using drugs and alcohol.

The Foyer helped me with the whole move-on process and have been great with everything. I even gained an IT qualification.”

My health has improved since I have stopped taking drugs. I am now even more determined to stop drinking excessively and am feeling 100 times better. My weight has increased I have plucked up the courage to start talking to my family without any bad feelings; I have even started spending the night with my dad occasionally. I am walking tall with a bounce in my step and more than motivated since starting sixth form, and I am looking forward to a bright future.”

Ronald “When I first moved in, things seemed a little rocky. The transition was a big change and that played a role in my behaviour. I was shy, unsure and sometimes snappy. As time moved on, I settled in more and started to get to know some of the other residents. I slowly became more confident and participated in Foyer events. Half way through my two years at the Foyer I got one of the bigger flats, and then when two years was almost up I moved out to semi independent supported housing and started slowly to support myself more. I managed to get in debt at one point with a rogue phone company but that cleared after about four months. I went to college to do Media Studies, and then went back for a second year to study Level 2 PC Engineering. I passed all the modules, and now have my certificates and diplomas and am on my way looking for employment.” Ryan “I lived in Plymouth all my life with my family. My mother separated from my father when I was younger and I’ve had a stepfather who I’ve known for the past four years. My mother uses drugs on a regular basis. She supplied me with drugs when I was younger and I was permitted to smoke cannabis in the family home. I have been a drug user ever since, causing me to be stupid and get involved in at least 10 incidents, from shop lifting to anti-social behaviour. I have suffered with bad depression since a young age that caused me to attempt suicide on two occasions. I have an eating disorder, I am shy and quiet in large groups and struggle with my confidence and self-esteem. My mother was abusive towards me and the police were involved. Eventually I was removed from my mother’s house after a violent incident. I found out about the Foyer through Entry to Employment (e2e). Since May 2008 when I moved into the Foyer. I have accessed the services although there have been difficult times when I was reluctant to engage. My dependency on drugs and alcohol was

Blaine “Before moving into the Plymouth Foyer I was living with my grandmother. Living away from my mother I felt depressed and found it hard to motivate myself. My grandmother had lots of debts and would allow me to do whatever I wanted i.e. smoke cannabis, not attend college. I love my grandmother but this was not an environment I wanted to be in. I decided to leave; this involved some sofa surfing with friends as well as other family members. Whilst sofa surfing I continued to attend e2e and they told me about the Foyer, and in March 2007 I moved in. I was happy to have gained independence and at first didn’t feel as though the support being offered would be of any use to me. I spent most of my time in my room and rarely spoke to staff. But I eventually got to know all members of staff and developed a friendship with each one and realised whatever problem I may have, they would be there to help me through it, not to judge me. While living in the Foyer there have been plenty of problems with my benefits but my key worker has always been available to support me and as a team we have been able to resolve any issues. Since I have been aware of the support I have surrounding me I no longer feel a need to smoke cannabis. I have a more positive outlook on the future and don’t feel as stressed out as I used to. My tenancy will be ending in six months. I have already started the ‘move on’ process. I hope that within this time I will have moved into my own flat.”


how we work We provide quality accommodation and learning for vulnerable young people, aged 16 – 25 in Cornwall and Devon. We work in a holistic and innovative way to contribute to social inclusion in our society. We foster a positive culture to assist young people to progress to citizenship and independent living. We provide a range of community facilities to invest in sustainable communities. We continuously review our work to make us responsive to the changing needs of communities and able to maintain the highest quality service.

Our staff

We employ highly skilled and motivated staff. All are experienced in working with young people, and many are qualiďŹ ed youth or social workers. We run an ongoing in-house training programme, and every member of staff has a personal appraisal once a year.



We strive to develop and maintain a wide range of partnerships at local, regional and national levels, with public, private and third sector organisations. This helps ensure that our work with young people is supported through strong funding streams and professional work development. At national level, one of our staff team has a place on the Foyer Federation Board. The Foyer Federation is the accepted authority on issues relating to young people, homelessness and learning. It is regularly consulted by government at senior level on these matters. Our partnerships at local and regional level are vital to us and if you would like to work with us, we would like to hear from you.


Andrew Noquet Foyer services manager 01752 256880



Plymouth Foyer, 12/14 Octagon Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth PL1 1TU Tel: 01752 256880

Bodmin Foyer, Kestennen, Off Fore Street, Bodmin PL31 3GZ Tel: 01208 79213

Redruth Foyer, Alma Place, Redruth TR15 2AT Tel: 01209 314539


Padstow Foyer, Old School Lane, Padstow PL28 8EQ Tel: 01841 533175

Torbay Foyer, Teignmouth Road, Torquay TQ1 4DZ Tel: 01803 316632

Launceston Foyer, 14 Church Street, Launceston PL15 8AP Tel: 01566 773050

Andrew Noquet Foyer services manager 01752 256880

Truro Foyer, Lander Court, Strangways Terrace, Truro TR1 2NH Tel: 01872 277422

Design: Krage Design Photos: Roy Riley & Foyer media Text: Mark Brend

Profile for Krage Design

Devon and Cornwall Housing Association Foyers brochure  

Brochure for Devon and Cornwall Housing Association are the major providers of Foyers in the south west. We hope this gives you a taste of l...

Devon and Cornwall Housing Association Foyers brochure  

Brochure for Devon and Cornwall Housing Association are the major providers of Foyers in the south west. We hope this gives you a taste of l...


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