"I feel more independent and have so much more knowledge about living on my own"

Pippa Small moved into her mhs homes foyer in June 2017. The 18-year-old from Gillingham had a difficult family life and though things are still tough for her, the future now looks bright.

Foyers are for young people aged 16 to 25 who need a little extra help to live independently. Pippa’s new home is also helping her to learn more about adult life.

“I was independent anyway but coming here, I feel more independent and I have so much more knowledge about living on my own, a lot of budgeting and paying bills” she said.


“It’s about paying council tax, bills, food and having a bit spare in case I need it – it takes a while to get used to that“, she added.

She'd had a difficult family life but has turned her life around and is now excited for what the future holds.

This determined youngster has her eyes set upon a career in retail, having volunteered at the British Heart Foundation for two years.

“I can’t wait to get my own place, get a proper job” she added.

She also gives blood and tries to help the homeless where possible.

“It feels good knowing I’m helping others. There’s a homeless man in Chatham that I always buy a coffee for when I see him” she said.

Pippa’s hard work has already been recognised and she was awarded Resident of the Month, just a few months after moving in – usually it takes a little while longer.

Her support officer Mark Musumeci said: “We are really proud that Pippa has decided to donate some of her blood and to have her here as a member of the Foyer family.

“It is really important to Pippa that she continues to help others in need as this forms part of who she is.

“She’s fully embraced the community spirit of the Foyer and through her natural talents has encouraged some of her peers here to sign up for volunteering as well”.

The foyers are staffed all hours of the day and night and at weekends too – it’s given Pippa great comfort.

“There’s a lot of support here, I can talk to the other residents and then to the concierges at the weekend and the foyer staff.

“I like living here – there’s a lot of friendly people you can have a laugh with” she added.

“Pippa is passionate about helping others be successful and we are excited to see how far she will progress during her time at the Foyer”, added Mark.

And this inspirational teenager isn’t sure where she'd be if she hadn’t moved into her home: “If it weren’t for mhs homes I’d probably still be living at home and living in fear”, she said.

Pippa will be able to live at the foyer for two years, by which time she’s hoping she’ll be ready for a fully independent life: “I want to move out and get my own place with the help of the foyer when I’m ready” she said.

If you’d like to know more about the supported living we offer click here.