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Richmond Fellowship Castle service becomes part of Young Futures Partnership in Cambridge

Young Futures Partnership (YFP) is pleased to share that we have been awarded the Young People’s Housing Related Support service, which provides support and accommodation for young people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire, by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Richmond Fellowship’s Castle service in Cambridge city is proud to be part of the partnership which also includes CHS Group, Orwell Housing Association and Riverside.

Each provider has a long history of supporting homeless young people in Cambridgeshire.

YFP will be run by a Partnership Board and an Operational Team. It will also include the Young People’s Voice to act as a sounding board for the evolution of the service model, oversee client outcomes and review local policies and procedures.

This new partnership will make a difference to the lives of many young people in Cambridge, drawing on our collective experience, expertise and resources to offer a consistent and quality service.

The partnership will work together closely to ensure the service develops and evolves in line with any changes in the operating environment, by pooling information and resources and working directly with Commissioners as members of the Partnership Board. YFP will have a ‘helicopter’ view of current provision, identify emerging gaps and trends and seek out opportunities to innovate in response.

The key service developments that are currently being worked on include:

  • A new referral process; with a single point of access for referrals
  • A new delivery model, consisting of a ‘Hub and Spoke’ approach
  • Community support
  • A broad range of accommodation-based services.

Kerry Stiles, Area Manager for Richmond Fellowship’s East Anglia services said:

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside other providers within the Young Futures Partnership to ensure some of the most vulnerable people with mental ill health are supported in Cambridge. The Castle service has a long and rich history of providing supported housing in the city for 16 to 25-year-olds and we’re pleased to be able to continue offering that level of support”.

The partnership will be sharing more details in the near future, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or would just like to find out more, please contact Kerry Stiles, Area Manager (East Anglia) at Richmond Fellowship. (kerry.stiles@richmondfellowship.co.uk).

Young People’s Week: Castle service’s Community Mural

Richmond Fellowship’s Castle service is based in the University City of Cambridge. The service provides Supported Housing for young people between the ages of 16 and 25. It regularly gets involved in community activities including the Mill Road Winter Fair and is very active in fundraising and organising activities for people we support.

But did you know a mural, situated in one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Cambridge was created in partnership with the service?

It’s located on the city’s Mill Road bridge, the same road as the service’s office and has been a positive talking point of the area since its creation in 2006.

The artwork was designed by Sharon, a person staying at the neighbouring Youth Foyer as part of a competition. She spoke to the Cambridge News/Cambridgeshire Live website about it in 2019:

“Castle service were wanting to find a design that would adorn the Mill Road bridge and were encouraging people staying at the Youth Foyer to submit ideas.

The winning concept would be decided by a vote after all the designs were publicly exhibited, she was told.

So, inspired by the multicultural vibrancy of Mill Road, Sharon set to work with a huge, two-metre-long piece of paper and began to create her vision.

The idea, which was intended to represent both “the community of Mill Road and the wider world,” was comprised of a series of adjoining and overlapping flags, all overlaid with a line of irises.

Sharon said: “It took about three or four months for me to actually finish it.

“I was doing it every day, even on the weekends. It was my way of trying to stay afloat and not sink into depression.

“I didn’t know where I was going to go after.”

The designs were voted on, both by members of the public and residents of the Youth Foyer and the Castle Project, and Sharon’s proposal was chosen as one of the winning designs.

So, along with volunteers and residents from the Castle service and the Cambridge Youth Foyer, she set about painting the mural in the summer of 2006.

Sharon said: “We all got together and painted it. It really brought us together.

“After that, it really helped us to remain bonded. For many of us who didn’t have anywhere to go at Christmas, it was nice to have that little feeling of community and camaraderie.”

She added: “I’m extremely proud of the effort and support put in by the volunteers who helped me to create a moment so bright in my life when there was only darkness.

“This project spring-boarded me forward into where I am now.”

Follow our social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with #YoungPeoplesWeek.