Inspiring former Poole Foyer resident shortlisted for top national award

Kyle Jenkins, a former resident of Quay Foyer in Poole, has been shortlisted for the Inspiration Award at the Inaugural Foyer Awards 2017 which recognise the achievements and dedication of Foyer staff across the country.

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Quay Foyer, which is operated by social and supported housing provider Stonewater, provides accommodation, training and assistance to local vulnerable young people, aged 16 – 25, with the aim of helping them to eventually live independently in the community.

At aged 15, Kyle found himself homeless after a breakdown in his family. He was taken in by Quay Foyer three times over a period of nine years, receiving care and support from the Foyer team.

Now living in a shared flat with friends in Poole, Kyle visits the Foyer fortnightly as part of his two-year Advice and Guidance Apprenticeship with local careers and employability experts Ansbury Guidance. He gives residents support and guidance through one-to-one informal chats as well as coordinating activities. Kyle struggles with autism as well as other complex emotional health issues and hopes that through his apprenticeship and work at the Foyer he can make a difference for residents struggling with similar difficulties, while continually working to improve his own.

Kyle, who is also Quay Foyer football team’s longest serving player, was nominated for the award by Foyer Manager Chris Shaw and his support team who were very impressed with Kyle’s dedication and drive to help inspire others to overcome their individual difficulties and become independent.

“We are so proud of Kyle and feel privileged to have been able to help him move into living independently,” says Chris. “We are always impressed with his determination and passion to improve, even more so now that he has become such a positive role model for our current Foyer residents. We are really pleased that his hard work has been recognised in these awards, he really is a ‘winner’.”

Kyle says: “I was absolutely over the moon when I found out that I had been put forward for this award. I have thought of Quay Foyer as my home for so many years and would not be here today without them. It’s been really weird moving from being a resident to having a professional relationship with the Foyer staff, but it still really feels like a family, and even though I’ve moved out they are still helping me with my confidence and independence. I’m just really enjoying the chance to give something back.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Birmingham at the end of this month.