Three Swan Housing Association Foyer residents scoop Room 4 Young People Awards
Three residents from Swan Housing Association’s Foyers have taken home trophies at this year’s Room 4 Young People Inspiration Awards which took place in The Clayton Hotel in Birmingham on 3 November, making Swan the provider to take home the highest number of these accolades nationwide in 2021.
Aimee Tyner won the Duck to Water category, Kieran Peck received the Innovative Action Award and Shannon Derby took home the Flying the Nest Award, at the awards which celebrate the successes and achievements of young people from across the social housing sector.
All three young people live at two of Swan’s Essex-based Foyers that provide a safe, caring place for young people aged 16-25 years of age who are provided with supported housing to live, learn and make the transition to independent adulthood.
Aimee lives in Dove Cott House in Basildon, a specialist Foyer for pregnant young women and single parents. During the pandemic, Aimee felt that she needed to do something to help those in need in the community, so she applied for a job as a domiciliary carer. Aimee was successful in applying for the position. Despite having no transport, she carried out the role by using public transport to drop her son off at her sister’s before walking to each customer’s house. Aimee continues to deliver this service despite long gaps between customers. Despite having no background in care work, Aimee has taken to this like a ‘duck to water’, making her the winner of this year’s award.
Kieran lives in Swan House Foyer in Basildon and is an active member of the foyer community. Kieran has been inspiring residents with his love of plant growing and has used this passion to help maintain his own mental wellbeing. Kieran has spent time with other residents, even going shopping with them and helping them to learn about the plants they are buying which has inspired them to make their own indoor gardens in their flats. This has helped with so many of his peer’s mental wellbeing, making Kieran the recipient of this year’s Innovative Action category.
Shannon also lives in Swan House Foyer. She has completed a catering apprenticeship and secured herself a full-time job which she remains in despite facing significant mental health challenges. During her time at the foyer she has worked hard to accept her mental health status and eventually came to realise that it does not define the person that she is and there is more to her than her mental health issues.
Speaking about her experience, Shannon said: “I found the courage to do this because Swan made me feel that I was and am the most important person in my life and that the courage I have is amazing, (because I never saw it before) …. Yeah, they can nag a little…but you do get the most understanding and gentle people. They have made me see I am worth it…"
Swan’s three Foyers are just one part of its range of care and support services, delivering Swan Group's social purpose to make a difference to real lives in Essex. These services include strategic provisions of care and support; working in partnership with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to deliver care and support services to those most in need. This includes older persons, young persons and those with learning disabilities, as well as providing a range of community and in-home support, including care.