Head Start Housing project in the running for top award

8 July 2021

A meaningful initiative providing safe accommodation to care leavers and other vulnerable young people in Thurrock has been shortlisted as a finalist for Best Social Housing Initiative in The Municipal Journal (MJ) Local Government Achievement Awards 2021.

The joint Head Start Housing project between Thurrock Council's Children's Services and Housing teams offers safe, suitable and affordable accommodation to care leavers and vulnerable young people in the borough. It aims to enable those benefiting from the project to take control of their lives and continue with education, employment or training.

Cllr Luke Spillman, Cabinet member for housing, said: "I'm delighted that Head Start Housing has been given the recognition it deserves by being shortlisted as a finalist for Best Social Housing Initiative.

"Through collaborative working across the council and with external partners including Grays Job Centre and the Department of Work and Pensions, we are able to offer our care leavers and young people the start of their independence.

"We currently house 83 care leavers across 27 properties ranging in size, and we have obtained accommodation for a further 19 young people in the borough."

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet member for children's services and education, said: "Congratulations to our teams for the hard work they have put in to supporting care leavers in Thurrock.

"We have a duty to support young people as they leave care and move into independence. By offering them this bedrock of safe and affordable accommodation, we can also help them to secure employment or training to get the best start in their adult lives. I am extremely proud of all those who have worked hard at, or with, the council on this worthwhile project."

The winner will be announced at a celebration in London on Friday 17 September.

Find out more about children and young people's care in Thurrock.