MP sees value of Banbury supported housing for vulnerable parents

(L-R) Sanctuary Supported Livings head of service David Shaw, Rachel House service manager Louise Powell and Victoria Prentis MP outside Rachel House. Photo: Sanctuary
(L-R) Sanctuary Supported Livings head of service David Shaw, Rachel House service manager Louise Powell and Victoria Prentis MP outside Rachel House. Photo: Sanctuary

The MP for North Oxfordshire got a sense of the safety vulnerable young parents are receiving at a supported housing block in Banbury.

Victoria Prentis visited Sanctuary Supported Living’s (SSL) Rachel House to find out about the value of supported housing and the benefits offered to residents.

The Conservative MP visited some of the self-contained flats at the service on Dashwood Road – which provide homes for young parents aged 16 to 25 and their children – to see the facilities and meet the people who live there.

Residents and SSL staff also had the opportunity to speak to Mrs Prentis about the support on offer, which includes advice on maintaining a tenancy, parenting skills and accessing education, training and employment.

The MP met with several residents, who shared their experiences of living in Rachel House and their longer term ambitions to move to independent accommodation.

“I really enjoyed my visit to Rachel House, meeting the families living there and learning more about what SSL staff do," she said.

“The work of Rachel House shows the benefits of a personalised approach to support, putting residents first, allowing them to build confidence and support their children and family.”

Mrs Prentis mentioned her visit to Rachel House at a public meeting assessing the impact of the downgrading of the Horton General Hospital's maternity unit on Wednesday.

She said the women do not have cars and some of the stories about the difficulties accessing medical treatment were 'truly horrific'.

Rachel House benefits from the Starts at Home campaign, led by the National Housing Federation, to highlight the value of supported housing.

SSL’s head of service David Shaw said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the MP to Rachel House where we were able to showcase the invaluable work we do with the young families.

“Starts at Home has given us a fantastic opportunity to highlight the importance of providing care and support through social housing.”