County pledges continuing care for Bridport Foyer youngsters

County pledges continuing care for Bridport Foyer youngsters

Coun Andrew Cattaway, cabinet member for adult social care pledged no one would be made homeless or uncared for.

Bridport Foyer is no longer going to house vulnerable youngsters

First published in News by

AS Dorset County Council made moves to reassure youngsters they will be cared for when the Foyer closes a plea has been made to keep the building for the community.

Coun Andrew Cattaway, cabinet member for adult social care pledged no one would be made homeless or uncared for.

They would also be given the option to stay in Bridport.

He also vowed that residents at the Foyer would all be consulted on their alternative housing.

Coun Cattaway said he had every faith in Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, which had an excellent reputation for working with vulnerable young people.

He said: “We are confident they will deliver a high quality service to all the residents.

“We believe the changes will provide the lifestyle and opportunities for personal development and self esteem the young people are entitled to.”

The lease on the Foyer has been extended until the end of June and Coun Cattaway said there would be a five-month transition period to ensure all needs are catered for.

The council said support would be tailor-made to individuals and there would be CCTV and remote care workers, regular visits from case workers to work on personal development plans.

Residents will be able to access personal support as and when they need it, said the council.

Town and district Coun Ros Kayes was one of local politicians shocked by the news last week.

This week she has conceded the council is unlikely to change its mind because there was no money in the budget but made a plea to keep the Foyer in community use.

She said : “Whether the building eventually becomes a community hub or remains as a foyer or even becomes a refuge, we need to keep it for the community. We still need to work on making sure the young people accessing the Foyer are appropriately supported into the long term future.

“We need to think creatively and above all keep that building in community use.”

Coun Kayes is arranging meetings with Martin Hancock, chief executive of BCHA and Martyn Pearl, chief housing Officer at West Dorset District Council in the next couple of weeks.

A DCC spokesman said there were no plans at this stage to make The Foyer the new community hub.

County and town councillor Karl Wallace said provision for vulnerable youngsters should be increasing not reduced.

He is meeting MP Oliver Letwin with foyer resident Michael Boniface on March 8.

Coun Wallace added: “The Foyer project gives 24 hour warden assistance which they need because of the fragile nature of these young people, some of whom have been homeless, some may have addiction problems some may have various issues such as self harming.

“Residents stay at the Foyer until they can cope. It really does work and ultimately gives value for money in terms of preventing crime and future health problems . “Care from a distance is not right in these circumstance.

“There is also the potential that young people will end up living with inappropriate housemates who may encourage drug taking.”

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