We have recently submitted a planning application to change a former guest house in Ashford, Kent into a dedicated residential centre for disadvantaged young people.
If approved Amber would be able to offer a temporary home, 24/7 support and Amber’s unique personal development programme for young people in Kent. The property is a 13-bedroom Downsview Guest House on Willesborough Road in Kennington which we hope to house up to 26 young people aged 16-30 at any one time.
Paul Rosam, Chief Executive of Amber foundation, said: “An Ashford centre offers us the opportunity to help some of the county’s estimated 2,500 young homeless get their lives back on track.
During the pandemic, it is the young people at Amber who have been hit the hardest. We know that emotional and mental wellbeing issues are rising and there is a growing local need for our services and support.
All the young people that come to us have a formal assessment to make sure that they are suitable for our service and are motivated to move forward with their lives.”
The Amber Foundation currently provides education, training and employment support at residential centres in Devon, Surrey and Wiltshire, where it works closely with local authorities and other charity partners.
The proposals for the Ashford centre have been developed with thanks to support from the Henry Oldfield Trust, a grant giving charity chaired by Richard Oldfield, Deputy Lieutenant of Kent and former High Sheriff.
Commenting on the proposals, Richard Oldfield said: “Amber has an impressive history of helping young people back into safe, sustainable accommodation and into work or training. As a trustee I’ve seen first hand the great work undertaken by Amber Foundation, and when the opportunity arose to support their plans for a new centre in Kent, we were only too pleased to help.”
The Amber programme, developed over the charity’s 26 years of providing support, focuses on four key issues that can support young people to transform their own lives:
• Physical health and mental well-being
• Employment readiness, including improving literacy, numeracy and IT skills
• Independent living skills
• Personal development by encouraging and supporting healthy hobbies and interests, improving social skills, and promoting volunteering in the community.
We hope that our application to change the use of the guest house will be heard later this year by Ashford Borough Council and aim to open Downsview House in 2022.
For more information please send us an email.