YOUNG people are about to get extra help with their housing, including practical and emotional support.

Experts at Worcestershire County Council have been talking to young people in order to get them the best possible support. The council visited Malvern Hills Foyer, provided by Fortis Living (previously Festival Housing). The Foyer has 17 rooms and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and houses young people between the ages of 17 and 25. The support staff work with the residents to give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to move on to independent accommodation and are available whenever the residents need some extra support or somebody to talk to.

Jamie (not his real name), aged 22, is battling with depression and was referred to Malvern Foyer by St Paul's Hostel after leaving his family home. He lived at Malvern Foyer for two-three months and has since moved to supported housing nearby in Malvern. During his stay at the Foyer he received support with living on a budget, nutrition and cooking, drug and alcohol awareness as well as taking part in a number of group activities to improve his social skills.

Jamie felt that the support he has been given by Malvern Foyer has helped prepare him to live more independently. However, he did feel that some emotional support or therapy may have helped him earlier on if he had been offered it at an early age. He also felt that there could be more information out there for young people who need housing support so that young people would know where to go if they were struggling with a place to stay.

Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families at the county council, said: "As well as offering much needed accommodation, we want to ensure there is support available to help young people learn the skills needed to move on to independent living."