A BANBRIDGE girl is being held up as a shining example of how the STAY project for vulnerable young people in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area can turn young lives around.
Eighteen year-old Carrie-Anne Murphy joined STAY (Supported Temporary Accommodation for Youth) two years ago and has now made the transition to independent living by moving into her own home in Banbridge.
A trainee hairdresser part-supported by the Prince’s Trust, Carrie-Anne impressed the organisation so much that they recruited her as an ambassador. She is also a member of a young people’s lobby group (WIMPS) and has visited Washington and met Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
Recently she has taken up a post working with Banbridge District Council and is also a peer representative for young homeless people, as well training to be a leader with the Girls’ Brigade and volunteering for a local Special Olympics project, Marie Curie and a drama group for young people with special needs.
The STAY project helps vulnerable young people throughout the Southern Health and Social Care Trust by providing them with temporary supported lodgings with families and offering support through the Southern Area Young People’s Partnership.
It is aimed at teenagers aged between 16 and 17 who are either homeless or experiencing difficulties and allows breathing space and time for problmes to be resolved.
Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust, said, “Carrie-Anne is a remarkable example of what we hope to achieve for young people through STAY.
“She has taken every opportunity with enthusiasm to develop a wide range of skills to benefit her own prospects but also to help other young people. Carrie-Anne should be very proud of her achievements and I have no doubt that she has a promising future ahead.”
Referrals to STAY can include young people from care backgrounds and the community and those on the scheme are assisted to pursue education, training or employment opportunities. Further information can be obtained by ringing 028 3839 1155 or by emailing Christine at Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org