New drop-in centre opened in Northampton to help people young people find work or training

Personal advisors Jessie Doherty (far left) and Leanne Shorter (far right), with care leavers Laura Cirule, Karl Glover and Kayleigh Malcolmson at the launch of Russell House.
Personal advisors Jessie Doherty (far left) and Leanne Shorter (far right), with care leavers Laura Cirule, Karl Glover and Kayleigh Malcolmson at the launch of Russell House.

Asylum seekers awaiting accommodation and young people leaving care will now be able to use a new drop-in centre in Northampton.

Russell House has been set up by Northamptonshire County Council to help previously looked after teens aged 16 find work, training or education.

The authority’s Leaving Care team will be based at the centre in Rickyard Road to dispense advice.

Teens will also be able to use Russell House as a drop-in centre to meet other young people who have been in care, and there are kitchen, shower and laundry facilities, which can be used by young people waiting to be found accommodation and those seeking asylum who have recently arrived in the country.

At the launch of the centre last Thursday, April 7, county council cabinet member for learning and families Councillor Matthew Golby said: “It’s very important to us that when a young person leaves care at the age of 16, they are not left without support but are offered advice and guidance as they learn to become independent.

“Russell House is a fantastic community-based project that brings together the Leaving Care team and the Children’s Rights service to act as a one-stop shop for care leavers.

“They can speak to a personal advisor, meet other young people who have been in care and take part in workshops with our partner agencies about issues such as healthy living and education.

“The centre also offers washing and cooking facilities for young asylum seekers and they’ll be able to access legal advice from a solicitor offering weekly appointments.

“Our long-term plan is to work with young people to expand the opportunities available at Russell House and continue to develop the service.”

To find out more about the support available for care leavers, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/youngnorthants.