OUR STORY: rewards are great for Joy and Les
Joy and Les Taylor are part of the YMCA Norfolk supported lodgings provider team. They have found that the rewards for giving a bit of time and TLC are just great. Here is their story.
OUR STORY: My name is Joy, my better half is Les (pictured right) . We have been married for just over 40 years and have five children of our own plus loads of grandchildren and two dogs - Ruby and Mannie.
Being supported lodgings providers gives us a chance to help young and sometimes vulnerable people a chance to get on their feet and to become independent.
We don’t do this on own, as the YMCA supported lodgings team are always there if you need help with any problem you or a youngster might have, be it big or small. They support us with weekly visits and on the phone or by e-mail.
We currently have two young boys with us - one for about 18 months and the other for about six months.
George has come along way since moving in with us. He didn’t have much structure in his life, and thought that it was a matter of getting up in the morning, doing a few hours at college, then straight out and coming home at what ever time he pleased – if at all. With no boundaries things can get out of hand.
It can take a while for them to grasp that life can be so much easier if you do have some rules and routines in life. This is where you can help them by nurturing them along with passing on skills of life such as running a home, paying bills and looking after themselves properly.
No two people are the same, so they are treated completely different. Our two boys are as different as chalk and cheese. George is quiet, likes a cuppa and a chat when he comes in. Peter is a tormenting 18-year-old who is full of beans, and drives you crazy. There is never a dull moment when he’s about.
George has come so far since being with us - he’s on an apprenticeship doing painting and decorating level two this year. He has had some set-backs with this - not of his own making - but he stuck at it, with the help of Emmanuel his support worker, who is always at the end of a phone when needed. Even if its just for advice on sorting out paperwork or appointments - they sort it one way or another.
George loves what he is doing and at the end of his apprenticeship there is a good job waiting for him.
Peter is at Easton College on a horticulture course, he hopes to be able to get on apprenticeship next year with a job at the end of it.
It’s not been not been easy for these boys to get a foot on the ladder of life. They sometimes come with nothing - no home, money, clothes or respect for themselves when they need it the most.
That’s why Les and myself do what we do – it’s not a lot to ask to give them a bit of your time and a bit of TLC. The rewards can be great, when you see a boy become a young man, ready to move out into his own home to be independent, able to cook, clean, do their own washing in their own home.
Both George and Peter will be leaving us soon – but they won’t be on their own for help is still there for them if they need it.
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and it doesn’t work for youngsters and all you can do is your best. But if you are thinking of becoming a lodging provider, give it a go it is worth it, you can help one young person to get started in life, it has got to be worth it.