MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson visited The Canal Project in Kirkintilloch recently, a project that provides temporary accommodation for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Canal Project is run by Action for Children and has been in operation since 2004, helping young people aged 16-26 who have left or are in the process of leaving care. In addition to providing temporary accommodation in a modern, purpose-built facility, the project offers a range of support to help them move into more positive futures, including gaining life skills to assist them in sustaining tenancies.
Young people are helped to find training or work opportunities and to develop skills such as cooking and budgeting to help them to move to independent living. The Canal Project also offers a general counselling and support service, including befriending, advising on food preparation, reminding and non-specialist counselling.
Commenting, Jo said:
“It was great to visit The Canal Project and speak to both current and former residents.
“I heard moving stories from past residents about the challenges that they had faced, particularly when it came to mental health, and it was amazing to see how The Canal Project had supported them and helped them to kickstart their adult lives.
“It’s not always easy as a young person to make your way in the world, and The Canal Project do vital work in helping vulnerable young adults off the streets and on a path towards sustainable independent living.”
Fiona Steel, Operational Director for Children’s Services at Action for Children, said:
“We were delighted to play host to Jo Swinson MP at our Canal service in Kirkintilloch.
“At Canal, working with East Dunbartonshire Council, we provide housing support to young people aged 16-26 years to develop independent living skills and to assist them with the transition to maintain a future tenancy. Our support is wide-ranging and specific to the needs of the young person.
“Our young people very much enjoyed meeting Ms. Swinson, sharing their experiences and explaining how they have benefited from the support we provide at Canal.”