Following her previous win in March this year, Hollie, a former resident at Swan House Foyer, attended the TPAS National Finals after being named as the TPAS Young Tenant of the Year for the Southern Region.
The competition was tough and although she didn’t come first in the finals everyone at the Foyers is extremely proud of how far she has come. Hollie attended the awards in Coventry with her partner Charlie, her Young People Coach Cliff Hughes and the Foyer manager Gemma Arris.
Gemma said, “It was a fabulous night! Hollie should be so proud of herself for all that she has achieved, she is an inspiration to other young people and we are enjoying working with her at the Foyers to help her achieve her goal of becoming a Young People Coach.”
The TPAS Awards recognise excellence in tenant engagement and Hollie is a true inspiration and proof of how life changing something as simple as engaging with her landlord and support workers can be; her success story is also testament to her sheer dedication. She arrived at Swan House Foyer in Vange, a supported housing facility for young people, when she was 17. She worked with the Foyer staff and engaged with the full programme of support that the Foyers offer.
She demonstrated a remarkable strength of character and, not long after arriving at the Swan Foyer, identified her five-year goals which included: restarting her education so that she could achieve some formal qualifications; to become a mum and to find employment helping others. Hollie is now 24, she has completed the Foyer programme, met all her goals and is now working towards her next ones! Today she lives elsewhere but she continues to return to Swan’s Foyers twice a week as a volunteer, with her goal to become a Young People Coach.
Whilst Hollie lived at Swan House Foyer she discovered that she has a talent for maths and budgeting and this was soon recognised by Swan’s Foyer Team who encouraged her to help with the budgeting sessions they offer for young residents. She soon developed the skills and confidence to run these sessions and quickly became an asset to Swan’s team as she is an inspiring and credible advocate for the advice she delivers.
Hollie’s skills have not gone unrecognised and she runs the ‘Go Girls’ budgeting sessions on the Basildon Borough Council initiative. She also uses her knowledge and skills to advise and advocate for the young residents living in Swan’s Foyers who have found themselves struggling with debts.
Hollie said: “Getting through to the TPAS Finals made me realise how much I was making a difference to people's lives. I have learnt so much from volunteering at Swan House Foyer, I hope to learn more skills and knowledge to one day become a Young People Coach.”