New training hub will transform lives

8 March 2016

Transform Housing & Support celebrated the opening of a new training hub for young people in Woking, at an event on Tuesday (8 March).

The new facility is at The Crescent, Transform’s supported housing project for homeless and vulnerable young people in Woking.

The training hub will help young people to sustain their education, complete training courses and find employment. The facility is in two parts:

  • A study centre with computers, internet access, Microsoft Office and specialist software, to be used for individual study, job applications and group workshops
  • A training kitchen for individual life skills coaching, group cookery sessions and food hygiene training

The training hub was funded by a very generous donation in memory of international businessman Andy Stallman. The project will also receive funding from the Michael Varah Memorial Fund, a charity founded to continue the beliefs of former Surrey Chief Probation Officer, Michael Varah. Each man was a champion of the underdog.

Representatives from both donors attended the event on Tuesday to mark the official opening of the training hub. Oliver Buckley and Sally Varah were each presented with a jar of handmade mango chutney, made by young people in the training kitchen.

Theresa Duckett, Housing & Support Manager at The Crescent, said:

“Eighteen months ago, we had the idea of turning a storage room and staff kitchen into a training hub for our young people. Thanks to these generous donations in memory of Andy Stallman and Michael Varah, this idea has become a reality.

“The young people are really excited about the training hub. Our initial plans include a photography club, CV writing sessions, healthy eating workshops, an Indian cookery course and food hygiene training. We’re delighted to be able to give our young people access to these opportunities, to support them to improve their life chances.”

Lauren, who lives at The Crescent, said:

“I use the study centre lots – for email, printing my CV and applying for training courses. It means I don’t have to travel to the library to use a computer, so it’s a lot more motivating. There are Transform staff around to help if I need anything and it’s also give me the chance to meet other residents.”

The Crescent provides specialist housing and one-to-one support for 14 young people aged under 30, who are homeless or in housing crisis. In the Woking area, Transform runs supported housing for a total of 70 homeless and vulnerable people. Transform gives each person a safe place to live, with one-to-one support to deal with the issues they are facing.

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