We believe that every child should be able to talk openly and honestly about their feelings. Homelessness is something we see all around us, but we don't always see that homelessness comes in many different forms. We have thousands of families living in supported accommodation like ours.
Our Schools workshops allow young people the freedom to talk about their feelings regarding family relationships, their own mental health, it reminds them that there are people who care about them and others.
The project helps young people to look at healthy ways to discuss the things that matter to them and what they feel upset about regarding their own community, it gives them the freedom to talk about physical safety in the streets, parks and other outside spaces, it helps the children and young people to show compassion to others around them, lets them express how they feel when they see someone on the street?
The project helps them to understand what services are there available to people in the area they live in? What they think about when they see their surroundings and is there anything they would like to do, no matter how small, to make where they live a better place to be? It also helps the community to gain a better understanding of the homeless families we support, what they are up against and what work we do at The Gingerbread Centre. We hope that they may not be so scared to come and visit friends who may live here in the future if they understand about what happens here.
The schools receiving the programme sign up to support the centre in the future, which will enable us to sustain our project for future generations, we hope that in the future we will be able to encourage the schools to pay for the programme as we do not want this project to end after the funding period. You will be able to say you changed the lives of the pupils taking part in the project and the homeless families who live with us in our accommodation. Eventually we are hoping to look at the possibility of rolling this project out to all schools in the surrounding areas, but like every great idea, it has to start somewhere.
what we do from the point of view of a resident:
We went on our first holiday, just a caravan, nothing grand.
But I felt like I was in paradise, on the beach, when my son grabbed for my hand.
We paid just nine pounds fifty, a meagre price to pay.
The trip just felt like I was free at last, I never thought I'd see that day.
The night before we left our new home, I truly thought, we'll never make it.
But I saw my child, with his lunch box packed, and thought, I'll just have to fake it.
We finally got onto the train, and a little of the burden lifted.
The anxiety was not in control of me. The balance of power had shifted.
My son reached out his hand to me, but I was strong inside.
I think he saw that I was battling, I guess in life sometime, you truly cannot hide.
The place we stayed was magical and a bit tacky, admitted, but that didn't matter.
And our first meal on our holiday, was fish, chips and peas in batter.
We made such happy memories, a time I will never forget.
I'll never be able to thank the place enough, I will be forever in their debt.
You might ask me why I am telling you this. Why I want to share my tale?
It's because someone once believed in me, when everyone thought I would fail.
That person helped me make a list, of big things and of small.
Of things I wanted out of life, but I could never have imagined it at all.
And so after our first holiday, as a family, I wanted to share this with you.
Because that person really helped me see, that sometimes dreams do come true.