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Two of Lancashire’s homeless schemes celebrate their 10th year of supporting others

Since the schemes opened in 2005, The Bridge in Chorley and Foundations/Inn2 in Preston have enabled over 800 men and women aged 16 and over to get back on their feet so they can move on to a permanent home.

Philomena Cunningham, Operations Director of Housing, Community and Support Services at Progress Housing Group, who own and manage both schemes, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this milestone for both our supported housing schemes and would like to thank all our partners including Preston City Council, Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council.

“We have had 10 years of helping people achieve some amazing things and transforming lives.

“It's great to have seen over 800 people pass through our doors and on to a better life, and we want to mark this occasion.”

Foundations/Inn2 in Preston is managed in partnership with Preston City Council and provides 22 self-contained high quality flats and a team of specialist support staff available 24-hours-a-day to maintain a safe and supportive environment for the residents.

The Bridge in Chorley provides 10 self-contained flats for young people experiencing homelessness for up to 18 months and is managed in partnership with Chorley Council.

As well as providing accommodation, both schemes help the residents to improve their long-term prospects with various education, training and voluntary opportunities.

Gardens at the schemes enable residents to grow their own vegetables which are used in ‘cook and eat’ sessions that give residents the skills to cook healthily on a budget.

Residents can also attend sessions to help with building confidence and developing life skills such as, budgeting, IT, managing debt, plus support with securing long-term suitable accommodation when they are ready to move on.

Former Foundation’s resident, Adrian Allan, aged 50, said: “When I went Foundations it’s was good. They let me do things at my own pace until I was ready to move on. I was homeless for a long time and for the first time I could see what life was about; I could see who I was because of them.”

Tony Devlin, Project Manager at The Bridge in Chorley said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. It is so rewarding seeing people come into the scheme needing our help and support, then leaving and doing well on their own. The scheme has played an extremely important role in breaking the cycle of homelessness for a significant number of people who have gone on to successfully maintain a tenancy and rebuild their lives. In these times of austerity, it is incredibly rewarding to see such positive outcomes and the sustained success of the scheme thanks to partnership working and the commitment of all involved.”

Earlier this year Progress Housing Group took on the management of Parker House, a supported housing scheme of eight self-contained apartments in Chorley, expanding its supported housing services for those facing homelessness in Lancashire.