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MP visits supported housing services for Starts at Home

31 August 2018

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has visited Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL) residents to mark Starts at Home Day on Friday 31 August.

Sandy Martin MP with resident Marvin Matherson

Mr Martin visited SSL’s Anglesea Road and Berners Street supported housing services in Ipswich as part of the National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home campaign, which aims to champion the value of supported housing services.

Now in its third year, Starts at Home Day celebrates the help hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people receive to gain their independence and confidence through supported housing.

During Mr Martin’s visit, the MP spoke with SSL staff to learn more about the two services, which provide specialist supported accommodation for young people and supported housing for people aged 18 to 65.

He was also introduced to Berners Street resident Marvin Matherson, who spoke at Youth Parliament earlier in the year, where he delivered a talk on LGBT issues affecting young people as part of a project for homelessness charity St Basil’s Youth Voice programme.

Prior to arriving at the service, Marvin had experienced periods of homelessness and was living in a B&B before he was referred to SSL in 2016 with anxiety and depression.

Marvin’s story is being shared by both SSL and the Starts At Home campaign as an example of the transformative effect supported housing can have on vulnerable members of society.

SSL services like those in Anglesea Road and Berners Street work with residents to help them develop the key skills they need to live independently.

SSL head of service David Shaw said: “We’re grateful to Mr Martin for taking the time to visit our Ipswich services, and get to know our residents, and meet our team.

“We provide personalised care and support, tailored to residents’ individual needs – this element of personalisation makes all the difference and we were delighted for Mr Martin to see and hear about this first hand.”

Sandy Martin MP said: “Everyone needs to know that they are safe and valued, and far too often people of whatever age are left lonely and insecure.

Sanctuary Supported Living demonstrates that housing and support that are centred on the actual needs of residents can transform their lives and help them to regain their confidence and self-respect.

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