When Teigan moved into supported lodgings at age 18, she didn’t know the impact it would have on her life. Read on to find out about the lessons she learned along the way and the enduring bond she shares with her supported lodgings host, Cath.
Supported lodgings is for young people aged 16-21 who are leaving care and are also in education, training, or employment. It’s there to help prepare young people for the future and support them in reaching their goals.
When Teigan left care, she found herself with newfound independence but struggled to manage her finances. Cath, her supported lodgings host, stepped in to guide her. Teigan learned to prioritise bills, ensuring they were paid via direct debit immediately after receiving her income. This financial stability was a game-changer she attributes to her time with Cath.
Cath provided more than just financial guidance; she offered emotional support. She was always ready with a comforting cup of tea and a chat on challenging days.
Without her support, Teigan believes she might not have successfully completed college, as Cath’s unwavering support motivated her to attend even on days when motivation waned. And without her financial advice she may have fallen into homelessness.
So…what lessons did Teigan learn from her time in supported lodgings?
- Financial responsibility: Teigan learned the importance of prioritising bills before buying things she wanted, but didn’t need
- Independence: living alone became less intimidating, thanks to her time in supported lodgings
- Cooking and meal planning: she developed culinary skills, mastering the art of cooking and meal prepping to ensure a well-stocked freezer
- Routine: establishing a routine became a positive force in her life, helping her stay organised
- Household skills: Teigan gained practical knowledge including how to maintain a clean and tidy living space
- Mental health awareness: Supported lodgings taught her the importance of reaching out when struggling with her emotions
Teigan said: “If I hadn’t had a supported lodgings placement with Cath I would not be where I am now. I still speak to Cath on the phone and it’s nice to know that even though I don’t live with her anymore I can always pop by for a cup of tea, a chat and a bit of advice. I do miss being with Cath though, sometimes it feels really weird without her, but I can live alone now and I know I can phone her if I need to.”
Speaking of her time with Teigan, Cath said: “It’s so nice to see how well Teigan is doing. The journey was frustrating at times but it’s been so worth it when I see how she is now managing to live successfully on her own.”
Teigan’s story is a testament to the transformative power of supported lodgings. It not only provided her with a safe haven during a critical phase of her life, but also equipped her with the skills and resilience needed for independent living. The bond with her host, Cath, shows the enduring positive impact such placements can have.
Teigan’s journey is a source of inspiration for anyone facing similar transitions, showcasing the potential for growth, independence, and success.