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Stockton South MP Paul Williams visiting a tenant at a supported housing scheme

Stockton South MP, Paul Williams, visits North Star Housing Group’s Parkfield Hall scheme to see how young people are being supported in Stockton.

For over 40 years, North Star has provided housing and support solutions for vulnerable people across the North East, and has successfully delivered the purpose built Parkfield Hall service for the last seven years

Parkfield Hall was developed in partnership with the Children’s Social Care Services, a range of young people and the local community to provide a safe and supportive environment for young people leaving care or experiencing homelessness.

North Star own and manage the service, and contributed over £600k to the development of the building. The local housing provider worked with young people to shape and influence the design of the scheme, creating a supportive and secure environment that promotes independence.

As a result of North Star’s robust partnerships, structured support services and innovative building design, vulnerable young people in Stockton have access to a critical service that can help improve their life chances. The service helps young people to develop the skills needed to live independently as well as supporting them to access employment, education and training.

Chloe Newbould, 17, is a resident at Parkfield Hall and thinks the service is extremely valuable: “I was scared when I first moved in, because of the unknowns of what would be next but I’m really happy with my flat, my own space, and to be able to do more for myself.

“I want to be able to study Health and Social Care, move out, go travelling and then open up my own children’s home. I was difficult and people helped me, so because I could be helped, then I can help others. I believe that those who have had the worst past, can end up creating the best future.”

Angela Lockwood, Chief Executive at North Star, said: “The support young people receive at Parkfield is intensive, and focused, centred on their needs and aspirations. The service equips them with the skills they need to live independent and fulfilling lives, something that would be almost impossible without the intervention of supported housing services like this.”

Stockton South MP, Paul Williams, said: “Young people leaving care face a whole range of challenges, as a GP I’ve seen vulnerable, young care leavers struggle without enough support. They need an extra helping hand as they leave care and move to the next stage of their lives. This is why having Parkfield here is invaluable for Stockton South. Not only for the quality accommodation, but also the range of services to ensure people receive those helping hands.”

The funding system for supported housing is currently being reviewed by the Government, after which a new funding mechanism will be set up. The National Housing Federation and North Star are campaigning to secure a Government commitment that everyone can have a home that meets their unique needs.