Young volunteers deck the halls at Glen Lodge

An award-winning partnership between youth homeless charity SASH and the council have helped older residents deck the halls at Glen Lodge.

Glen Lodge

The Enable team was at the council-run Heworth independent living scheme on 28 November, when they provided and hung the Christmas decorations. This is the third session which Enable has completed at Glen Lodge this year: in the spring they redecorated a tenant’s flat and gave an area of the communal garden a makeover in the summer.

While carrying out the garden project the older tenants told the young volunteers how much they all loved Christmas, but getting the decorations up was a massive task. Following this the young people asked if they could help, Christmas decorations were sourced by the council and the team trimmed Christmas trees, played seasonal music and got into the festive mood with residents and staff.

This month’s makeover is the latest of 27 different projects carried out by the Enable team which consists of young people and colleagues from the youth homeless charity SASH, and City of York Council housing experts. The scheme was developed to improve the lives of younger and older people in York and in 2018 it won the Best Community Project at the York Community Pride Awards.

Over the past five years, young volunteers have given their time to help older people in York who struggle with jobs around the home and garden. In return they have learned new skills which will come in handy when they live in a place of their own.

Gary Hogg, SASH active project coordinator, said: “Enable’s projects have made a real and lasting difference to the lives of older people in York. The young people have made friends, spend time with older people, learned new skills and, perhaps most importantly, have seen first-hand just how much difference they can make to the lives of others.

“With this project, not only have they got Glen Lodge looking a treat for the festive season, but they’ve shared mince pies and some Christmas cheer with the tenants.”

Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and community safety at City of York Council, said: “Our Enable project aims to give younger people a meaningful experience with home maintenance to help ensure that any tenancy they take on is a lasting success.

“We also want older people to benefit from their skills and enjoy their company. Thank you to everyone involved.”

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