Caysh is a leading homeless youth charity on the lookout for big-hearted residents who would be willing to give a spare room to vulnerable young person leaving care. We work with young people aged 16-24 years old, leaving care, unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
London has a diverse range of children and young people who need fostering, partly because they take in a lot of UASCs – unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, who are processed at Lunar House, Croydon which is the UK’s Visa and Immigration Centre.
At Caysh we have services such as supported accommodation and supported lodging service. This week we visited one of our Lodgers, Christiana Safia, 49, who worked as a secondary school teacher before becoming one of our Lodgers and has volunteered across other voluntary organisation to support young people dealing with mental health.
Christiana said: “Providing a stable home for a vulnerable young people is so fulfilling”
“When lockdown started the whole country was sort of in mourning. The atmosphere was very scary and quite tense but I really tried to prepare my young people as best as possible since watching how lockdown has affected China”
“As a family we would listen to the Government announcement the lockdown and the young people were really happy that there was no college or school, then the reality of what that meant slowly started to sink in”
“Within almost a week they started getting quite restless and the reality of being locked in hit them.
“If we think about the children who come into care, they’re vulnerable children; they’ve not had easy lives. The reason for them coming into care is that things were not right for them.
“I think it started impacting their mental health, as Outdoor activities were restrictive”
“All the difficulties they’ve had make vulnerable young people even more vulnerable and generally, the lockdown had a huge negative impact on young people.
“On the positive side, they couldn’t just walk out of the house as teenagers do. We were spending a lot of time together cooking, doing housework and home schooling. It tightened the family unit.
“There are a large number of children coming in to the system from diverse backgrounds and we just don’t have enough carers to meet the need.
“I would encourage anyone who’s even just thought of being a carer to pick up the phone or email and attend one of the information sessions.
For anyone interested in becoming a supported lodger, Caysh will be running an online information sessions on Thursday 2nd September. To register, or enquire about supported lodging service call 020 8683 0227 or email _Lodgings – South East London firstname.lastname@example.org