Lifeline project has a ball to mark 15 years

Posted by / Wednesday 25 May 2016 /

Chief executive Tony Hawkhead visited our Guernsey Youth Housing this week to join in the celebrations marking the service’s 15th birthday.

PLEASE CREDIT 'Photos courtesy of The Guernsey Press’ - Chief executive Sir Tony Hawkhead and Ryan Ozanne, 23, from Guernsey Youth Housing

Following a working lunch with key partners and political figures on the island, Tony joined in a game of ‘Zorb’ football with young people who have been supported by the project. The birthday celebrations continued into the evening with a reception held at a local café.

We took over the project on St James Street in 2001 and since then we've helped over 1,700 young islanders over the 15 years.

Initially we provided one-to-one support and training in the community to help vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 live independently and find employment.

Over the following years, we've expanded our work. In 2005, we developed 7 purpose-built training flats, supported 24 hours a day. These flats provide a secure place for young people to learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning and household budgeting as well as receive employment training.

Pictures courtesy of The Guernsey Press.

"It was an absolute pleasure to be here to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of this vital service. To hear from the young people we’ve helped over the years thanks to the tireless dedication of our staff and volunteers was truly humbling."

Tony Hawkhead, CEO

Mum-of-two, Katherine*, 31, was provided with foster care accommodation by Guernsey Youth Housing in 2004.

She said: “After having been part of several foster families from the age of 12, I was given my own flat at 15 and allowed to live semi-independently - my foster parents were in an adjoining part of the building so there for whenever I needed them."


"When I became pregnant at 16, Action for Children found me two other fosters parents who could give me the support I needed as a new mum."


"All of my foster parents and the staff at Guernsey Youth Housing were so incredible during my pregnancy and throughout the early years of my son’s life – it was an extremely difficult time for me as the relationship with my son’s father kept breaking down and he became violent."

“Over the past 14 years, Action for Children has always been there for me, helping with all aspects of everyday life. I still keep in touch with everybody who’s helped me over the years and even during the troubled relationship with my son’s Dad, the team never judged or criticised me. As well as practical support, they gave me the encouragement and confidence to become who I am today.

[*Name changed to protect identity]

Kareena Hodgson, service’s coordinator at Guernsey Youth Housing, said: “It’s been extremely rewarding having been part of a team that’s helped so many young islanders, often through the most difficult and challenging times of their lives.

"We are with them on their journey for many years and that continuity of care - being able to provide them with stability and always have our door open for them – is one of the best things about the project."

Kareena Hodgson, service’s coordinator at Guernsey Youth Housing