Young people living in supported housing across East Kent have received a digital boost, following a donation from energy and construction services company Engie.

Peter, resident at East Kent Supported Housing, is delighted to be using a tabletResident Peter Taylor uses one of the new ipads kindly donated by Engie

Thanks to the generous donation of four tablets and Amazon fire sticks from Engie, young residents living in Sanctuary Supported Living’s East Kent Young People Supported Housing services in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet can now access vital information and support more easily.

Engie donated the items as part of their partnership with the Sanctuary Homes’ MORE programme, which supports local and community causes in the areas where it builds new homes.

East Kent Young People Supported Housing provides accommodation and support for vulnerable young people aged 16 to 21, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including care leavers.

As well as searching and applying for independent accommodation more frequently, residents have used the tablets to search for job opportunities and college courses.

Sanctuary Supported Living staff have also encouraged residents to use the tablets during their regular support sessions, helping them gain the skills and confidence they need to one day be able to move on from supported housing and live independently.

A previous partnership between East Kent Young People Supported Housing, Engie and the Sanctuary Homes MORE programme offered residents the chance to take part in the Kick-Start course, where they learned about different roles within the construction industry and were given the opportunity to sign up for work experience placements and apprenticeships.

Anni Wilson, a Peer Support Coordinator at the supported housing service, said: “We’re so grateful to Engie and the MORE programme for this generous donation. Everything is digital these days, so it’s vital that the young people we support can access the internet regularly. It has made such a big difference to residents’ lives already, especially during this lockdown when residents have been isolated and stuck indoors. We’ve been able to keep the tablets cleaned and sanitised between uses, so they can all make the most of having this technology available.”

We’re so grateful to Engie and the MORE programme for this generous donation.

Anni Wilson – Peer Support Coordinator

Colleen Eccles, Head of Place Shaping at Sanctuary Homes said: “Covid-19 has caused many vulnerable young people to become increasingly isolated.”

“I’m really pleased that, through Engie’s partnership with our MORE programme, the young people at East Kent Young People Supported Housing now have the technology they need to stay connected with family and friends, as well as take the steps needed to help them move on and live as independently as possible.”

To find out more about Sanctuary Supported Living’s services for young people, visit our young people page, read residents’ stories or search for a young persons’ service near you.