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10th anniversary celebrations at Seaforth house

Our supported accommodation service Seaforth House, in Falkirk, celebrated its 10th anniversary on July 5.

The milestone was marked with an informal barbeque held at the service. Among the guests was Falkirk Provost Pat Reid, who unveiled the Seaforth House 10-year celebration ceramic plaque – a ceramic mosaic designed by the young residents and staff – and met with some of the young people who have benefited from the service over the past decade.

Seaforth House provides supported accommodation to people aged 16-25 whose lives have been affected by homelessness. Since the 14-bed centre was opened by Ypeople in 2002 it has assisted hundreds of young people, equipping them with the life skills necessary for living alone and helping them to move into their own accommodation.

Residents have also established their own award-winning Registered Tenants Organisation (RTO). The RTO is recognised by the Scottish Government, Falkirk Council and the Scottish Housing Regulator and meets once a month to allow all residents to express their views on every aspect of the running of Seaforth House.

A DVD produced by the group about the experience of becoming an RTO is now being used as a training and information tool supporting similar groups to set up their own tenant participation process.

Other prominent initiatives undertaken by Seaforth House service users include Speak Out, a film written and directed by residents which explores the complex issues faced by young people today, such as bullying, domestic violence, self harm and sexual abuse.

Earlier this year, the film was screened at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Sheena McHugh, Team Leader at Seaforth House, said: “We have come a long way since the project was set up in 2002. One of our key achievements is that Seaforth House now has its very own Registered Tenants Organisation (RTO), allowing tenants to have a say over the policies that affect them.

“We’re also very proud of our film, Speak Out, which aims to encourage other adolescents to share their problems.

“People sometimes have the wrong idea about homeless young people, believing that they are on the streets for being disruptive but often it is because they have been exposed to factors such as violence and sexual abuse.

“I’m glad that our film Speak Out, and the success of our RTO, are challenging the negative image of homeless young people and showing what they can achieve.”

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