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Ty Bronna is supported accommodation for young people aged 16-21 experiencing a housing crisis in Cardiff, Wales. We provide accommodation and help every young person fulfil their unique potential.
We provide a variety of support services including education, training and employment, understanding welfare benefits and tenancy rights, cooking and domestic skills and budgeting skills. Ty Bronna provides accommodation and 24-hour support for up to 13 young people at once.
Some of these young people have nowhere else to call home because their families no longer have space for them, they are living in unsuitable accommodation or leaving care.
Just a Housing Crisis?
All of the young people have come to us because they’re experiencing a housing crisis for various reasons.
They are often very damaged young people. The young people referred to us have hardly any resilience at all; their mental health is such a barrier for them, and we are having to support them through that so they can focus on the skills they need to learn to live independently.
We have young people presenting with the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety etc. but don’t have a diagnosis yet to access support. Whilst others are mirroring the experiences of the crises around them. Perhaps, because they’ve been let down by their families, they are looking for a label from mental health services to explain away their turmoil. It can be difficult for our staff to determine what is a genuine crisis and what is a broken cry to be seen.
So, we’ve been working with our young people to put together self-care boxes – a tool to help them self-manage their mental health. The boxes may include small items, like noise-cancelling headphones, that can help them move past the dark place in their minds.
The idea is that each young person would take charge of their own box and add things to it as they build up resilience and include more strategies they find to be helpful and work for them. We’re teaching the young people that interventions don’t have to be severe but that they can develop their own coping mechanisms.
One young person came to us after weekly suicidal attempts. She’s been with us the longest out of any of her placements and has been stable for a while now. At one stage, Ty Bronna was the only service keeping her alive. She told us, “If it wasn’t for the staff here, I would be dead.”
She’s acknowledged that it’s her own mental health that’s been the hurdle to her living independently, but we are in the process of facilitating that now. We have believed in her from the start, have never said ‘enough is enough’, but kept at it.
It is difficult. We are not a mental health service, we are a homeless and housing support service, but 97% of our young people will move on, and in the past 20 years we’ve sheltered and equipped over 800 young people towards a more hopeful future.
Rachel Codd, Support Services Manager, Ty Bronna
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