Local MP Jo Swinson heard some moving stories during a recent visit to a project in Kirkintilloch that provides temporary accommodation for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Canal Project is run by Action for Children and has been in operation since 2004, helping young people aged 16-26 who have left or are in the process of leaving care.
In addition to providing temporary accommodation in a modern, purpose-built facility, the project offers support to help them move into more positive futures, including gaining life skills to assist them in sustaining tenancies.
Young people are helped to find training or work opportunities and to develop skills such as cooking and budgeting to help them to move to independent living. The Canal Project also offers a general counselling and support service, including befriending, advising on food preparation, reminding and non-specialist counselling.
Jo said: “It was great to visit The Canal Project. I heard moving stories from past residents about the challenges they had faced, particularly when it came to mental health and it was amazing to see how The Canal Project had supported them and helped them to kick start their adult lives”.
Fiona Steel, Operational Director at Action for Children, said: “At Canal, working with the council, we provide housing support to young people aged 16-26 years to develop independent living skills and to assist them with the transition to maintain a future tenancy. Our support is wide-ranging and specific to the needs of the young person.
“Our young people very much enjoyed meeting Ms Swinson sharing their experiences and explaining how they have benefited.”