New partnership to support Peterborough children in temporary accommodation

Children living in temporary accommodation will receive better support thanks to a partnership between Light Project Peterborough, Cross Keys Home, Longhurst Group, Peterborough City Council and Thomas Deacon Academy.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:27 pm

The partnership will provide a model of enhanced communication between the council’s housing needs team, housing providers and schools across the city so that if housing and accommodation is temporary for families, children’s needs can be met in a greater measure and education outcomes improved.

Steven Pettican, CEO of Light Project Peterborough said: “Last winter we worked with Peterborough churches and the wider community to donate 600 Christmas gifts to 300 children who were living in temporary accommodation.

“This highlighted the real need not only for help and support, but for communication and awareness. The project has gained good momentum and we are committed to helping vulnerable children and their families.”

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Steven Pettican, CEO of Light Project Peterborough, with Rick Carroll, principal at Thomas Deacon Academy

When a young person/family move into temporary accommodation the local authority will seek their permission to let the school know.

This was piloted at TDA and is now being supported by all secondary heads across the city, with the aim to roll out the scheme into primary schools at the start of the next academic year.

Moreover, when a young person/family move into temporary accommodation the housing provider, at present Cross Keys and Longhurst, will seek permission to contact the school to form a link there.

The three way partnership is expected to improve education outcomes for young people as addition support, including with transport to school costs and furniture to be used in the temporary home, can be provided.

Rick Carroll, principal at Thomas Deacon Academy, said: “Homelessness is proven to have negative impacts on the outcomes of young people so preventing it from happening has to be the focus of all involved.

“By working with partners to ensure that support and education are provided the impact will be reduced. This is an excellent project that will dramatically improve the lives of young people across Peterborough.”

Light Project Peterborough’s vision is to “enable and equip the church and community to heal the broken hearted, set free the oppressed and bring good news to the poor”.

The charity continues to grow and has coordinated several successful projects to offer support for those in need in the city, including the Garden House – the central hub for people sleeping on the streets in Peterborough.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, council cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills and the university, added: “Light Project Peterborough do fantastic work for vulnerable people in the city and this collaboration will allow local organisations to work together to bring awareness, social change and help to those who need it.”

For more information on Light Project Peterborough, visit: www.lightprojectpeterborough.org.uk.