Peabody and their partners in Hertford have come together to celebrate the 10th birthday of a landmark facility that has helped transform the lives of young people at risk of homelessness.
Rose Court opened in autumn 2013 and has gone on to become one of the not-for-profit housing association’s most impactful supported housing schemes.
For the past decade, it has given 16-to-25-year-olds a secure, comfortable place to live, while helping them learn new skills, improve their confidence and open the door to a brighter future.
The 10th anniversary event, held on World Homelessness Day, was an opportunity to reflect on the profound impact the service has had for the 370 teenagers and young adults who’ve called Rose Court home over the years.
The celebration brought together Peabody’s dedicated support team, current and previous residents, and representatives from the many organisations that continue to make the service a success.
Guests included East Herts District Council, who refer young people to Rose Court, and young people’s charity Herts Young Homeless, who provide supplementary services.
Attendees planted a rose bush to mark the special occasion, and a previous resident spoke about her time there.
Rose Court was named after the late Jacqueline Rose, who dedicated her career to planning youth services in East Hertfordshire. The facility has 28 rooms, each with their own private bathroom.
It also has a communal lounge, garden and kitchens that are shared between two. The on-site office enables Peabody’s team to provide 24/7 support.
The team understands that many young people facing homelessness have had difficult lives. They give each resident one-to-one assistance with setting goals, while being sensitive to past trauma.
If specialist advice is required – whether that be for mental or physical health, education or employment – the team can link the young people with other services.
Stephen Burns, Care and Support Executive Director at Peabody, said: “This 10th-anniversary event, held fittingly on World Homelessness Day, is not just a celebration of a milestone.
“It’s a heartfelt tribute to the resilience of the young individuals we support and a testament to the impact our services have on their lives.
“Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed countless stories of transformation, where young people have turned their circumstances around and gone on to live independent and fulfilled lives.
“With homelessness at a record high, our commitment to young people in Hertfordshire is unwavering, and we look forward to continuing our support for those in need.”
‘It gave me my safe haven’
Molly, the former resident who shared her personal story at the event, described how Rose Court played such a pivotal role in her journey.
She said: “Before I came to Rose Court, I had a difficult start in life. I never had a stable home and drifted between family and friends.
“After exhausting all my options, I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I applied for a new home through the council and was offered Rose Court.
“I started working with the team and following their guidance to do the workbooks, cook my own meals, manage my bills, and learn how to have healthy relationships. I even managed to get back into work.
“It gave me my safe haven. A place that was mine, where I didn’t feel like a burden to anyone.
“I truly believe that having a safe space, support, and a good community around you is fundamental for people who are struggling – all of which I received at Rose Court.”
Cllr Mione Goldspink, deputy council leader and executive member for Neighbourhoods at East Herts District Council, said: “Over the past 10 years, Rose Court has become more than just a roof over the heads of the young people who live there.
“It’s a safe space where they can be part of a family and lay the foundations for an independent, fruitful life.
“I have been touched by the stories of resilience I have heard from past residents. I have also been tremendously impressed by the dedication of all the staff and the amazing support they give to the residents.
“East Herts Council will continue to work with Peabody and other partners to support the young people of Hertford.”
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