Based in Haverhill, Suffolk, Coupals Court offers supported housing to young parents who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and who have housing-related support needs.
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For both staff and customers, these can be challenging times. But having started her role at Riverside last month, Katie has worked hard to bring some positivity and a little light for the customers: an injection of fun and some much-needed normality for the young families.
For Mother’s Day, for example, Katie realised that this was the first year that many of the residents had become mothers, so she created activity packs with crafts, plain cards and poster paints. The customers could get creative and messy, providing a bit of fun to break up their day, with a keepsake card at the end. Even expectant mothers joined in the fun, with additional canvases to paint.
“I received back lots of wonderful pictures of them doing their activities,” says Katie. “The smiley faces and messy hands were all uploaded on the WhatsApp activity page. The event proved to be such a lovely achievement for all, raising everyone’s spirits. It was truly lovely.”
But Katie didn’t stop there. As Easter approached, she restructured the traditional Easter egg hunt so that customers could take it in turns to go outside with their little ones to find the mini eggs.
“It was thoroughly rewarding watching them out of the office window and then taking pictures of their very proud faces with their finds,” Katie added. “In their activity packs I again provided lots of creative fun, including baking bunny cookies for the mums and partners to do together.”
Organising and overseeing these activities was great fun for Katie – and it also encouraged customers out of their flats, into the fresh air so they could have fun and enjoy time with each other. And what now? Katie’s looking forward to the group activities she’s planning and being able to build good personal rapport with customers. It’s an opportunity to start teaching life skills as well as building up customer confidence and knowledge.
To find out more about Coupals Court, visit their website.