Swindon Foyer awarded Christmas donation

Specialist supported housing provider Stonewater has been awarded a donation from John Lewis & Partners to spend on festive activities, exclusively for the young people staying at its Swindon Foyer.

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In 2015, reports showed that thousands of homeless teenagers across the UK and in places like Swindon, were seeking help to find housing but were being turned away by local Councils due to heavy demand. This meant that an estimated 12,000 young people were at risk of becoming a victim of sexual exploitation or turning to crime, in order to survive.

Stonewater launched its Swindon Foyer with the aim of tackling demand, by providing safe accommodation for young homeless people aged between 16 and 25. In addition to offering safe and supported housing, the foyer’s residents are also given access to specialist coaches who can help them access education, training and employment opportunities – helping them to achieve their aspirations.

The £400 donation to Stonewater from John Lewis & Partners’ One Partnership Community Christmas campaign, means that the Foyer will now host a festive buffet on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as send out gift bags of toiletries to everyone staying there.

Jennie Rubel, Project Co-ordinator at Stonewater’s Swindon Foyer, said: “When we found out about the award, we asked the residents whether they would like a Christmas dinner, or a buffet and the majority wanted a buffet, with lots of treats.

“The money has given us a greater budget to spread some festive cheer among our residents and help us make sure they have a great Christmas! No one should feel alone or left out any time of the year, but especially not at Christmas. This is a great initiative from John Lewis & Partners, and we’re delighted to have been one of many organisations in Swindon awarded with a donation.”

Stonewater was one of several organisations selected by John Lewis & Partners for its work in supporting the local community. For more information about the Swindon Foyer, visit the Stonewater website, here.