Park Lodge is a supported living project for young single adults.
Those who use Park Lodge have had very challenging backgrounds and have been leading chaotic life styles with associated problems which have led to them needing specialised housing and life-skills support. Many have been previously homeless and/or in care.
The year-long project started in July 2014 and will end in July 2015 and was funded by Big Lottery Awards for all Grant as a partnership between Park Lodge and Soft Touch Arts. It provides a weekly session for young people from Park Lodge to develop art and music skills and present a showcase of their work at the end of the project. It gives young people new creative, communication and life skills which broadens horizons for their future, but most importantly it builds self confidence. The project supports them to see themselves and others in a positive light and to improve their relationships with people. This is beneficial for their future so they can communicate and build strong relationships, it also enables them to work as a team and have faith in each other.
Positive impacts of the project have been achieved with the whole group but with some young people in particular. The Deputy Manager of Park Lodge commented “one young woman lacked self-confidence to the point where she would not want to get involved with anybody or anything. This young woman was very reluctant to attend group activities. Through attending the sessions she has now had support from staff both here and at Soft Touch, and blossomed into a different person. She has tried new activities and trusts people again and is now keen to participate in group activities even to the point of going on a three-night residential outdoor adventure”.
The Park Lodge group displayed their artwork at the Soft Touch Building Launch event on June 22nd 2015, along with a multimedia display of work based around the theme of “what makes me happy – what makes me sad.”
Park Lodge and Soft Touch are looking for further funding to continue this successful partnership which is making a difference to vulnerable young people’s lives.