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    We’re committed to keeping young people and their needs at the centre of everything we do Amanda Oliver
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A fresh approach to youth housing with Tai Ffres

As United Welsh reveals the name of its new developing youth housing service as Tai Ffres, Project Manager Amanda Oliver explains what it’s all about. 

It’s been 12 months since I was last in the United Welsh offices in Caerphilly. In fact, I can just about see Y Borth from my bedroom window – but here I am, at my kitchen table, in my kitchen office and excitedly introducing you all to Tai Ffres.

Why am I excited? Thanks to Welsh Government Innovation Grant funding, we’ve been able to bring together the expertise from United Welsh and Llamau to develop an innovative pathway for young people (a first within the UK) into a genuinely affordable home, with support.  

Tai Ffres is being developed as a universal housing pathway for young people – moving away from the traditional approach which many young people face when needing a home: fitting into tight service criteria; having to meet thresholds for service, and then more often than not, having tenancies which are temporary or based on conditions.

With Tai Ffres, it’s our intention to remove those barriers to access and conditions of tenancy; it’s a young person’s home for as long as they want to live in it. 

As the service is introduced, young people will be able to apply for a home directly with Tai Ffres, but we’re not just about giving young people somewhere to live. From the first point of contact, young people will be offered support and coaching, money advice and employment support.

Tai Ffres will work in partnership with Llamau, who will provide the mentorship and the kind of support that young people request.

It’s totally up to them whether they take that offer up or not – their tenancy with Tai Ffres isn’t conditional. Tai Ffres is offering opportunities to young people to live freely, and independently, in the way that they choose.  

One of the main principles of Tai Ffres is to focus on the strengths of young people.

We’re interested in their stories, in their words. Focusing on a young person’s strengths creates a more positive, respectful way to work together and achieve meaningful change for the service and young people. 

We’ve also taken a different approach to the development of the service We’ve had the support to take our time, rather than having to set up a rapid response. We’ve also been able to appoint two project boards – one of professionals from a range of disciplines and a second (and arguably the more important), a Youth Board.

In a way, the pandemic and working in the virtual world has meant that we have been able to gain input from a wider range of voices than we would have traditionally heard from, as demonstrated by the membership of the Youth Board. It has voices of young people from right across Wales; the voices of young people with lived experience of homelessness and care services and young people who have had less interventions from statutory services.  

The Youth Board have been at the centre of choosing our name and developing the values, brand, and of course, the launch. They have been the driving force behind our principles of service delivery, support services and property development.

We’re committed to keeping young people and their needs at the centre of everything we do – the voice of young people and our accountability to their views and input is one of our core values. 

This is the beginning of Tai Ffres. It is a fresh approach to youth housing and a fresh start for young people. 

Please follow us as we introduce the service on Twitter @TaiFfres and at www.taiffres.com 


 

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© Cymorth Cymru 2021
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774