The Vineries, in Dagenham, is one of Circle’s independent living centres and provides accommodation and support to young people aged 16 -25 who are statutorily homeless. The scheme also includes a mother and baby unit which provides support with parenting skills.
“My name is Francis and I moved into the Vineries in 2007 aged 16. I was frightened and paranoid but also delighted.
I have always been very independent, but at the same time very stubborn, so I argued with my family to the extent that I couldn’t live with them anymore.
"It took me a little while to settle in to the Vineries but I soon started to make friends and became comfortable and confident.
“Throughout my stay I had Key Working sessions every two weeks. At first I thought these were an inconvenience but I slowly realised that without them I probably wouldn’t have survived. They help with guiding you from teenager to adult. You get help with budgeting plans, college applications, emotional support, sex advice - all aimed at guiding you onto the right path in life.
“I was also a resident rep at the Vineries, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I helped arrange resident meetings, chaired meetings and organised resident outings. There are many other things that service users can get involved with, such as attending board meetings with Circle, becoming a board member, mystery shopping and voluntary work.
“I faced some tough times whilst at the Vineries, but I also had some of the best times of my life there. I met people I will never forget and learnt about different cultures, foods and religions. No matter where I end up in the future I will always miss the Vineries, it was my first independent home.”
Circle offers great benefits and plenty of opportunity for learning and development. And we're currently recruiting >
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