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A young Brighton artist is planning a career in creative arts thanks to a grant from a fund which supports young homeless people in the city.

Artist Tony Mills and Brighton and Hove Foyer resident Osric FranceArtist Tony Mills with Osric

Osric, who receives support from Sanctuary Supported Living’s Brighton & Hove Foyer, has recently been approved for the Eight Miles Away fund, founded by self-taught artist, Tony Mills, whose paintings were sold with the aim of helping Brighton’s young homeless get back on their feet.

17-year-old Osric came to Brighton and Hove Foyer in early 2020 when a breakdown in his relationship with his family meant he could no longer live at home. Despite his experiences, he immediately impressed them with his determination to keep busy; studying Level 3 Art Animation at college and preparing for his Maths and English exams. He also secured his first paid part-time job and took part in the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust Get on Track programme, which gives young people the opportunity to be mentored by current and former professional athletes over a period of six months. On top of all this, Osric has also volunteered at the charity’s Bike Building Club, repairing second-hand bikes for others at the service to use.

Osric applied to the Eight Miles Away fund so he could buy a tablet computer and 3D printer to continue developing his creative work as well as a laptop to support his college studies – an initial total of £1,050. When he is ready to live independently, the fund will also support him with the putting down a deposit on a shared flat and his first month’s rent, giving him the space he needs to study and work part-time.

Osric said: “I now believe I am capable of being an independent young adult. With the experiences and knowledge that I have gathered from my time at Brighton & Hove Foyer, I am looking forward to the future”.

I am looking forward to the future

Osric, resident

Jurgen Forster, Project Worker at Brighton and Hove Foyer, said: “Since I started working with Osric, he has exceeded every single expectation. We are delighted that the grant from the Eight Miles Away Fund will help him pursue his creative dreams and with his determination, I know that he will do well”.

For more information about Sanctuary Supported Living’s services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, see our latest news or find a service near you.

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