The Wolverhampton House Project has launched a new website to showcase the progress and successes of young care leavers who will be moving into their own homes for the first time in the months ahead.

The website will enable people to find out more about the scheme, meet the team, hear from the young people involved and follow their progress.

The Wolverhampton House Project is designed to help care leavers through one of the most difficult periods in their young lives.

The scheme – a partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council, The National House Project and commercial partner Reconomy – will see 10 care leavers aged 16 and over given an empty Wolverhampton Homes property which they can refurbish and then move into. They will be able to continue living in it for as long as they choose – forever if that’s what they want to do.

Links are also being made with local building companies and training providers to give them the skills they need to make any improvements required to what will become their home.

It was intended that young people would begin moving into their new homes this spring. The coronavirus emergency has delayed the process, though work to identify suitable properties is continuing and it is now hoped that the first young person may be able to move into their house later this year.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "Living alone for the first time is daunting for any of us, but particularly so for a care leaver who will do this at a much earlier age than most young people and who would not have the support of family members, either. As a result, some young people stay in care for longer than they either need or want to.

"The House Project will help young people to move into their own home while getting support to develop the practical and emotional skills that they need to live independently and to make their house a home.

"We are immensely proud of the young people we are supporting through the House Project, and this website will enable us to share their progress and successes in the months and years ahead."

Julia Tompson, Supported Accommodation Manager, added: "Unfortunately for obvious reasons we have been unable to pursue some elements of the House Project programme at present, but we are still working with our young people to support their move into independence. 

"We are maintaining daily contact with all of them and using video calling to maintain the group dynamic so that we can continue as best we can in the current circumstances."