We’ll never stop showing them
how much we care
Story by Zoe Blakemore – Support Worker
Park Villas is one of Llamau’s newest supported accommodations.
We opened our doors back in January this year, just before the nation were told to ‘stay indoors’. This message came just before a couple of young people we’re currently supporting moved into the property with us. At the time, flats were still being furnished and prepared just as lockdown hit, which caused us a fair few challenges but nothing that deterred us. We were still ready for their arrival.
Even with the challenges that lockdown presented, we were still able to make sure that everyone who moved into Park Villas felt welcome and at home from the moment they arrived.
When a young person moves into one of Llamau’s projects, we always try to make them feel as at home as possible. We want them to know we’re here to support them throughout their time with us and that we really care about them. I think it’s difficult for a young person who has experienced so much trauma to believe that someone they don’t know could care about them but over time they start to believe too.
Often a young person will behave or act in a certain way which indicates how little care and nurture they’ve had in their lives so far.
We recognise this and work together with the young person to feel safe and understand what’s happened to them. One young person who moved in really struggled to cope and felt destructive and negative at first, but with time, support and working together, so much has changed. They’re now engaging well with Learning 4 Life and they’ve made little touches to their flat so it feels more personal and homely. We’re all very proud of the changes this person has been able to make.
As Support Workers, we spend a great deal of time developing our relationships and building trust with young people, often away from the project, such as walking to the shops or driving to appointments, but because of lockdown that had to change. Although the two metre rule has created a physical barrier between us, we’ve done all we can to ensure that’s the only barrier. With a little creativity our connection with everyone here is as strong as ever.
The young people living at Park Villas know there is always someone on hand to talk to. We’re a double staffed, 24 hour project so whether they just need a cuppa and a chat or help with something a bit more in-depth, they know we’re always here for them. One of the best things about the team here is the range of strengths we have as a collective, so if one of us is unable to find the answer, another will. Although none of us have the answer to ‘how early is too early to put the Christmas decorations up?’
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This year we’ve opened 3new supported accommodation projects for young people.