Young people who have been part of the Wolverhampton House Project joined staff and their peers from across the country to celebrate The National House Project’s fifth anniversary recently.

The Wolverhampton House Project, a partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council, The National House Project, Wolverhampton Homes and commercial partner Reconomy, was launched in 2019.

It sees care leavers provided with an empty Wolverhampton Homes property which they can refurbish and then move into. Working with each other and specialists, they develop the skills and confidence to build a life for themselves after leaving care. 

Many are now living in their own flats or other accommodation that suits their needs, and have developed the confidence to get jobs or continue with their education. 

A total of 34 young people have been part of the Wolverhampton House Project so far, with 17 now living independently and 10 living in accommodation more appropriate to their needs. 

Some of the young people travelled to Freight Island in Manchester where they joined 200 young people, staff, consultants, partners and fundraisers from across the UK to reflect upon the success of the national programme. 

Councillor Chris Burden, the council's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: "Living alone for the first time is daunting for any of us, but particularly so for a care leaver, as they are likely to do this at a much earlier age than most young people and will be without the support of family members that many of us take for granted.

"The House Project has been a fantastic programme, allowing these young people to move into their own home while getting the help and support they need to live independently and to make their house a home. It has also enabled young people to be part of friendship groups, giving them a sense of belonging and a valued source of support and company before, during and after move in.  

"It was great that some of our staff and young people were able to join The National House Project's birthday celebrations recently, and to share their experiences with their peers from around the country.

“Excellent working relationships have been established between the Wolverhampton House Project, Wolverhampton Homes, Reconomy, The National House Project and, most importantly of all, the young people participating in the project. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners who without their help and support, the Wolverhampton House Project would not have been the huge success that it has been for young care leavers.”