Rosie, 25, moved into Plymouth Foyer when she was 17 years old.
“Throughout my teenage years my brother struggled with drugs, it caused a lot of arguments in my family and lead to a hostile home environment. It was suggested to me by my school that alternative accommodation was available. The school then facilitated a meeting with The Foyer to get my application started.
I was a very angry and confused teenager. I would constantly lash out at those close to me and behave inappropriately. I like to think I had a nice side too; I was very committed to my education (which did suffer throughout this turbulent time).”
The Foyer supported Rosie throughout the time she lived there. DCH developed Plymouth Foyer in 2001 to provide 50 shared homes for young people. The service has expanded to include two other properties that offer a range of accommodation suited to the different needs of young people. These include Advantage Point, which offers emergency accommodation with 24 hour support, and move-on flats at Phoenix apartments.
“I attained a City and Guilds qualification (in Maths and English) – this was facilitated through the Foyer. I also took part in drama and sports classes at the Foyer. The staff at Plymouth Foyer also helped me with the theory part of my driving test – I managed to pass first time!
“They supported me with my university applications when I was in 6th form. They also tried to get me a £1,000 grant but unfortunately I was not eligible as I was moving to Scotland for university.”
DCH currently provides 200 homes for young people across Devon and Cornwall with an exciting new strategy that commits the group to developing services for young people to achieve, education, training and employment.
After 18 months, Rosie left the Foyer to go to The University of Glasgow to study Chemistry. The Foyer had changed Rosie; she became hungry for opportunity and less angry.
“Whilst I was happy to be going to university, I was disappointed that I had not got onto my first choice of course – Medicine (to become a Doctor). Four years later I had gained my degree in Chemistry from Glasgow and reapplied to Medicine. Swansea university offered me a place! This was three years ago and I am now about to enter my final year, this time next year I will be a Doctor!”
Rosie’s aspirations are to qualify as a Doctor and specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Rosie describes her Foyer experience as having “some highs and lows; it was an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The Foyer is an amazing facility for those whose circumstances are less fortunate. It offers not only assistance with housing but supports its residents holistically. The staff go above and beyond their job descriptions, they were like family; I will always remember the key worker who came into the Foyer on Christmas day to cook everyone a homemade dinner! I have very fond memories of the receptionist in our Foyer. She always had time for a chat and a hug when you needed it.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the staff at Plymouth Foyer. They were my family, teachers, friends and counsellors all in one. Without your help, I’m sure I would not be the person I am today! Thank you.”
Kathy Gilmore, Director of Independent Living at DCH, called Rosie’s achievements “fantastic,” adding, “We are really proud of our young people services and the role they play in enabling young people to achieve their aspirations. We have three former Foyer customers who are now employed by DCH, and they make a great contribution to our business.”
Jenny Endean, Young People Services Development Manager at DCH, said, “We will be working with the Foyer Federation to pilot a new quality framework, offer new work experience, volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities, and develop a best practice model for our Foyers.”
Rosie is one of thousands of young people supported by Foyers to make a successful transition to adulthood. A gift from you will contribute to transforming the lives of many more young people. Donate and invest here.