Newport housing project scores award hat-trick in year

South Wales Argus: MyPad - a youth homelessness project in Newport, are celebrating their first anniversary after winning national awards. Pictured are project participants (left to right) Luke Tidball, Natalie Bubb, Scarlett Williams, Aimee Hunt, and Ieuan Watkins. (295184 MyPad - a youth homelessness project in Newport, are celebrating their first anniversary after winning national awards. Pictured are project participants (left to right) Luke Tidball, Natalie Bubb, Scarlett Williams, Aimee Hunt, and Ieuan Watkins. (295184

A NEWPORT youth housing project has celebrated its first anniversary with a hat-trick of awards.

The prizes acknowledge MyPad’s contribution to helping vulnerable young people sustain their social housing tenancies, as many will lose their homes within 20 months of getting them.

MyPad works to prevent homelessness by offering practical training from housing professionals to 16- to 24-year-olds applying to Newport’s common housing register.

Aimee Hunt was 18 and without a job when she decided she wanted to move out of her family home. She contacted MyPad who showed her the reality of what living on your own means.

Many MyPad participants have left education early, so the training is highly interactive and offers a visit to an empty property for the ultimate reality check.

Miss Hunt, now 19, said: “When you’re younger you think you know everything and I wanted to move out. But Mypad shows you how much it actually costs to live on your own. Moving out just isn’t an option for me now.”

For those who don’t have options and have to move out, MyPad can support them through the process and monitor them once they have their own property.

In January of this year, Miss Hunt began a placement at MyPad through Jobs Growth Wales. She is now project assistant for MyPad while working toward an NVQ qualification in business.

She said: “Until it’s in front of you, you don’t realise the effect you can have on people.”

The MyPad project has been recognised for its work in preventing youth homelessness with innovation in the year 2013 from the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, and the service user involvement award from the housing support charity Cymorth Cymru.

It won a Tenant Participation Advice Service Cymru award in May.

Kelly Major, project co-ordinator, said: “We are thrilled – the MyPad team has worked hard to give vulnerable young people a good start to independent living. Housing officers love being involved with MyPad as the young people enjoy it and are keen to learn.

“I think It’s great that a Newport project is leading the way.”

The MyPad project is supported by Newport council and Supporting People, as well as Newport City Homes, Linc-Cymru, Melin and Charter Housing.

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