New Roots gives vulnerable young people in Bassetlaw a place to call home and a strong support network.
The housing project has been operating for 25 years and works with young people aged 16 to 21. A Charity Bank loan helped New Roots to expand its core provision. As Carol Scawthon, Chief Executive of New Roots, explains, the loan has enabled the housing project to provide additional high-quality accommodation to young people in need.
“New Roots gives young people the skills they need to live independently. We work with care leavers, young parents, young offenders and other young people in need of a safe place to live.
“Marcus House is our core provision property, for young people who need intensive support. There are 7 rooms which are a combination of self-contained flats and en suite rooms with a shared lounge and kitchen. Staff are onsite 24/7 to offer support. Originally, we only had five rooms, not all of which had en suite bathroom facilities, but we were able to buy the house next door a couple of years ago. It needed completely renovating, so we turned to Charity Bank.
“We’d known for a while that we needed to expand, so had already invited Peter Hughes from Charity Bank in to talk to us and our trustees. We really like Charity Bank’s ethos – they’re not just focused on the commercial aspects of a loan; they genuinely want to meet the charity sector’s needs.
“With the help of the loan, we were able to refurbish Marcus House, upgrade all the bedrooms and create 4 self-contained flats including a spacious loft conversion and a ground floor apartment suitable for young parents. Before the refurbishment, teenage parents would sometimes have to leave the county if they needed such an intensive level of support, but now we have a purpose-built space just for them.
“We’ve built a reputation for offering really high-quality accommodation. It’s so important to be able to offer that standard of living to vulnerable young people. It shows them that they’re valued and gives them something to aspire to.
“The loan also enabled us to create comfortable shared facilities, an office and a training room. We can now offer and host courses, group workshops, conferences and drop-in sessions for young parents. The renovation provided work experience opportunities too, as we worked with a fantastic contractor who helped three of our young people to gain valuable skills, such as joinery and plastering.
“We have 41 accommodation units in total across Bassetlaw and support around 70 young people a year, plus children and young volunteers. We still can’t meet demand though, so we’re looking to expand further and are already talking to Charity Bank about finance.
“We’d always encourage savers to think about where their money is being invested. Just look at the impact it’s had on us!”