'A HUB to excel in life' is how a 16-year-old has described Verve Place, a supported housing provision for young people in the centre of Warrington.

Since it opened in Mersey Street in 2008, Verve Place has offered a safe space for more than 500 people aged between 16 and 25 who are homeless or in vulnerable situations.

Its aim is to give young people purpose and the ability to believe in themselves while teaching them the skills they need to progress to further education or employment.

Bradan Brown was sofa surfing before he arrived at Verve Place five months ago and the team have since helped him to thrive and enjoy his time living there.

Bradan explained: "When I first came here I wanted to run away from everything.

"The staff here helped me because I wanted to move away from my problems.

"They have made me feel comfortable living in Warrington again."

As well as being taught essential skills like budgeting and cooking, staff work closely with residents to harness talent and promote self-belief, giving them the opportunity to explore their interests.

For Bradan, this involved completing the National Citizenship Service programme, despite being in the process of securing accommodation with Verve Place at the time.

He explained: “When I was doing NCS this whole situation happened.

"They were very proud that I carried on with it.

"I was presented with an award from the Queen’s representative of Cheshire.

"I had to make a speech. That was a great night for me.

"People at Verve Place have come from situations where they have been told they can’t do things.

"It helps when staff here are telling you that you can do it.

Warrington Guardian:

Verve Place

"Having that relationship with them helped me to talk about things I wouldn’t event talk to my mum and dad about."

The site is owned and managed by Your Housing Group and young people must agree to a learning contract in return for their accommodation, which, on average, involves a 10-and-a-half month stay.

It has 38 apartments where young people are encouraged to live independently, four of which are direct access flats in partnership with Warrington Borough Council Families First team.

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The building consists of everything a young persons needs to feel at home, including a communal games room, IT room, activity rooms and a common area and group kitchen.

Bradan explained how having these home comforts has made a huge difference to his life as a resident.

He said: "That’s how I met most of the people in the building, and my neighbour, by coming down and speaking to them.

"When I first came in I wanted to keep myself to myself but because of this I will now say hello to everyone."

Bradan is now looking to the future under the support of Verve Place and hopes to complete his Duke of Edinburgh award.

Verve Place is one of Your Housing Group’s four foyers across the North West, accredited through the Foyer Fed, FOR Youth and commissioned and funded by WBC Families and Wellbeing directorate.