Supporting people through difficult times

SHE was just a teenager when she was made homeless, but with help from Hackney Council s Supporting People programme Ingrid Leduc got back on her feet and is now helping others.

She was only 17 when a three-year arrangement of living with her aunt in central Hackney broke down and, despite attempts to remedy the situation by the Council, she was forced to move out.

Ingrid was placed in temporary accommodation for a brief period, after which she was referred to the Homerton Space Project. This gave her a roof over her head and, with support from link worker Lanre Odunlami and other staff, she learned skills in preparation for one day living on her own, such as budgeting, paying rent, and cooking healthy food.

Now aged 20, Ingrid has worked at a Clarks shoes branch for the past three years, and on leaving the Homerton Space Project after just under a year she moved into a flat and put the skills she learned into practice. She has completed a BTEC national diploma in business and is enrolled in higher education at Queen Mary University of London. Ingrid has also completed a mentoring course, and is offering support to other people in need.

She said: “All the residents felt at home - it was like a family environment. Since moving to my flat, I’ve been able to use all the skills I learned and put them into practice."

The Homerton Space Project is run by Chapter 1, an organisation providing housing and life skills support to 16-18 year olds in Hackney, enabling them to move on into employment and training. It is one of many such projects in the borough funded by Hackney Council’s Supporting People programme.

Cllr Nargis Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Hackney Council is committed to enabling people to have more choice and control in their lives, as well as ensuring everyone in the borough is decently housed. This is an example of a number of positive outcomes for residents delivered by a variety of providers which are part of our Supporting People programme."

For more information on the Homerton Space Project, contact Lilieth Martin, project director, on 020 8986 4308.