Stay has been accepted as one of the groups/charities to take part in the Shropshire Star’s Cash For Your Community 2017 campaign meaning that we are in with a chance of receiving a share of the £20,000 total prize fund 🙂
To receive a share of the £20,000 prize fund we will need to collect special tokens (minimum 500) which will be printed in the Shropshire Star Newspaper from tomorrow, 1st March to 7th April – there will even be some double token days.
The first prize is £5000 for the group that collects the highest number of tokens, the second prize is £2000 and the third, £1000 with the remaining groups in positions 4 to 50 will receive a share of the remaining £12,000 based on the number of tokens they collect.
Do you buy the Shropshire Star or have it delivered? If so, would you be willing to collect the tokens please?? Do you have colleagues/family/friends that might be willing to save the tokens/newspaper – We are happy to collect any tokens/newspapers that people are kind enough to save for us 🙂
To embark on a project such as Stay was a challenge of its own, one that seemed impossible. It was the people of Telford and Wrekin who stepped forward and responded to the challenge that was before us.
Stay became known following the 1990 Challenge Anneka project that served to create Wesley House – the first Stay Project. But the name “Stay” came into being before that. It was launched as S.T.A.Y – Short Term Accommodation for Young people as a partnership between Telford Christian Council and the Wellington and District YMCA. As things developed the work became STAY – Service That Accommodates Young people. Then finally in 1997, “Stay” became the operating name for the developing work of Telford Christian Council Supported Housing.
Stay is more than a name and as you celebrate your 25th anniversary can l congratulate you on achieving this milestone. This is a testament to dedication and commitment of all who have played a part in the history to date.
I would like to acknowledge the brave decisions, steps of faith, risk taking, hard work and dedication that preceded Challenge Anneka. Whilst l was part of those initial steps l want to acknowledge others playing crucial roles – Rev Dorothy (Ward) Morson – Projects Officer for Telford Christian Council, Betty Wells – Treasurer, David Marshallsay (County Youth Service) and Captain Paul McNally (The Salvation Army).
It all began in the mid seventies when Telford Christian Council raised concerns about the numbers of young men and women becoming homeless. Those leaving Care, Detention Centres and Borstal and young people simply being rejected by parents and young people rejecting home and family.
By the eighties a two bedded flat was opened, then replaced by a row of houses in Malinslee for “Boys”, and a provision for “Girls” at London House in Madeley.
However despite these services there remained an ongoing need for emergency direct access accommodation. A lodging system was trialled but It became difficult to find suitable lodgings and there was a realisation that many needed greater support as much as a roof over their heads.
The Stay Project at Wesley House
What was needed was a building that could be used as a ‘walk in’ resource centre offering information and emergency accommodation. I met several times with David Sears, the Director of Wrekin Housing and the Director of Housing for the Telford Development Corporation (TDC) to try to identify a property.
I remember the day the Director of TDC telephoned to say that he had identified a possible property. It was a chapel on Station Hill, Oakengates. I could hardly believe it when l went looking for the it to discover it was technically a three storey building. Wow! My heart sank for a moment. We only wanted an empty house, a shop, or small industrial unit. This was far too big surely! Nevertheless, I collected the keys and went to explore. Almost immediately, my worries about the size disappeared, as l started to knock down walls and construct bedrooms in my mind.
Anne Perkins, Chairperson from the YMCA met me later the same week at what became known as Wesley House, “The Stay Project”. The excitement was oozing, my heart beating at a rapid rate at the thought of what this could become. Anne and l spent time discussing from the balcony how the building could be used and the potential for us to work together.
My next port of call was back to Wrekin Housing, were l must have overwhelmed David Sears with sheer excitement of the possibilities, and in time he confirmed the council would underwrite the project. As we discussed how it would happen, it was clear that we could make it a Community Project and get volunteers / Trades people involved in transforming the premises. As l left David’s office, his parting words were “we could do with a mini Challenge Anneka”.
The seed had been sown. “Why have a ‘mini’ Challenge Anneka when you could have the real thing?” Unbeknown to anyone else, a letter was put together to the Production Company and sent.
I remember the jubilation when Hazel Norgove, a volunteer administrator who worked for me, put through the phone call from the Production Company saying they were considering the possibility of doing the Challenge and wanted to come up and view the premises and discuss further the project. At this point, l had to bring others into the confidence, like The Rev’d Colin Hill my line manager, David Sears, Ian Gallier, Captain Paul McNally and of course Catherine my wife.
This started 9 month of secret meetings with Mentorn Films, as a criterion for the challenge was that it must be kept secret. Had it become public knowledge, the challenge would not have taken place. No pressure then!! There was the need to bring on board contactors, mainly a building firm (Frank Galliers), plumbers (A.J. Plumbing) and tell them that we would be looking for initial work being done and that volunteers and voluntary trades people would be brought in to finish off, erect studded walls and do second fittings etc;
Jack Davis a Volunteer at the Christian Council and l spent many an hour doing proprietary work, including pulling out the stairs. There was the need to sort out every aspect of the project development, planning permission, future staffing, volunteer training and recruiting a Project Co-ordinator, all under a cloak of secrecy.
The rest as they say, is history and despite the Challenge Anneka almost not happening on a few occasions, eventually it did and the first “Stay Project” came into being. I thank God for the ongoing commitment of the Stay Board, Chief Executive and staff team for sustaining the opportunity and taking up the challenge that prevents young people becoming homeless and rough sleeping.
I could never have foreseen that 25 years on Stay would still be responding to youth homelessness. The numbers of young people that have accessed the service is staggering. Not only being given accommodation but also many have been given timely support, through the investment of the Local Authority’s Supporting People Funding that has enabled individuals through effective support planning of dedicated Stay staff, to realise their potential and attain suitable housing.
As l stand beside Stay in their response to Homelessness today, l see some of the New Challenges in front of them, but believe that not forgetting their core values, they have a significant role in the years to come, in Changing Lives.
We would like to say a really big thank you to Lawley Running Club for choosing Stay as one of the charities to benefit from any money raised from the Beckbury Trail Run on 15th November. The event was a huge success, all 250 spaces were filled and the money donated to Stay from the event was an amazing £1511.59. Thank you to all involved and particularly the organisers for their efforts with the event.
Exciting news to share with partners and customers in Telford
Bromford has been successful in winning the tender for ‘short term supported accommodation’ across Telford. This contract will go live from 1 October and will be led by Bromford with the support and specialisms of the Stay, YMCA and ManinPlace providers: the same providers that have been responsible for the floating support service known as ‘Thrive’ since 2013 across Telford.
Thrive will lead on the allocation process known as The Gateway which will organise referrals and access to the flexible short term accommodation support service. Stakeholders and customers will be involved in identifying and shaping the process.
Lisa Simpson from Bromford said: “We are delighted to announce this on behalf of Thrive partners, so watch this space for more updates.”
Additional information on Thrive providers
Maninplace Estate Ltd is a specialist local provider for homeless people, those threatened with homelessness and rough sleepers. A community enterprise established in 2006 to identify, negotiate and deliver accommodation for the homeless from within the private rented sector, Maninplace works with marginalised groups to break down the barriers that prevent non-statutory homeless people from accessing accommodation, working proactively with people to break down the downward cycle that can exist for homeless people.
Wellington and District YMCA is a specialist local provider of support and housing to young people at risk across the borough and offers 25 units of accommodation in the North of Telford and Wrekin. YMCA has many years of experience of working with young people at risk, motivating and encouraging them to develop strategies, change lifestyles and improve their prospects through a holistic approach to housing, support and life coaching.
Stay is a specialist local provider of support and housing to young people at risk, including young families aged between 16 and 32. Established in 1990 by local churches in order to respond to the growing problem of youth homelessness in the borough, today Stay is supporting over 100 young, vulnerable people and families.
Bromford is a social enterprise working to help change the lives of some of the most vulnerable people across our communities. In Telford and Wrekin our approach is further enhanced by the collaborative working arrangements we have with our voluntary sector partners. These important partners strengthen our overall support offer.
The Stay Out 2015 will take place on Friday 27th November 2015 from 7pm outside Meeting Point House. This year is Stay’s 25th Anniversary and so the Stay Out this year will have a silver theme.
To register for the Silver Stay Out 2015 please click here
There are lots of ways you can be involved in our Stay Out events including help with food and refreshments, taking photos, tidying up etc so if you are able to spare a little time to help then please contact us on 01952 291904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org