Care Day 2022 - Together we create community
Posted 18th February 2022
Today is Care Day 2022 and the theme for this year is ‘Together we create community’.
The theme of this year’s Care Day fits perfectly with the House Project approach and focus upon community. In October 2021, the Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) conference was entirely planned and delivered by young people around the theme of community. Community is important to us all and as CLNM’s Peer Evaluation states 'community can be places or spaces... but most importantly community is formed by a group of people'.
“I feel like I belong”
Building community is one of the key areas of a House Project and is contained in the practice framework ORCHIDS (Ownership, Responsibility, Community, Home, Independence, Developmental Direction and Sense of wellbeing). ORCHIDS underpins everything about House Projects, from the ownership young people have within house projects, the experiences they have, how young people and staff join together and how we work as a wider House Project community across multiple geographic areas. In the peer evaluation 84% of young people said they feel part of a community, with 91% of young people saying that the House Project was hugely important to their sense of community. Young people identified that coming together as a group regularly, taking part in activities such as days out and learning were all key to their sense of community.
“I'd say everyone (is my community). Everyone who's in the House Project. Literally everyone.”
Within Local House Projects, young people build strong relationships and friendships with each other and their staff team, which means they are able to support each other as they move to independence and for the years to come. For more established House Projects, the community has continued to grow over several years with those who have completed the House Project joining a monthly cook and share session, getting to know those new to the House Project and supporting their journey.
The following extract from the peer evaluation describes community in House Projects from a young person’s perspective:
“The entire point of a community is helping each other, there’s no point of it if you don’t help each other. I would help my friends in the House Project if they needed and they would help me. Even if their House Project is far away, in another city, I would walk if I had to, I am there for them and they are there for me. I would hope anybody that joins or participates in the House Project in any way shape or form, whether that’s staff or a young person in care is being helped by this, I hope they find the sense of community and friendship that I have in the House Project.”
Our House Project community is formed of everyone involved in or providing support to a young person or House Project – it is a pleasure to be part of the community. As the number of House Projects continues to grow, we’re excited to see what is next for our community!