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Rooms4U and Hazel’s farewell

Never work with children or animals.

What about young people?

I’ve worked in health and housing for ten years, mainly with older people. I thought it was time for a new challenge and I was fortunate enough to secure the role of managing the Rooms4U project at Newydd.

I wanted to make a difference to young people, provide them with a safe environment to live in, and if I’m honest, be someone who they might look up to. Everyone needs a role model who isn’t a perfectly photoshopped model living a #blessed life on Instagram. They need someone real who they can trust, and I wanted to give that to them.

Not everyone is keen on shared housing, but Newydd bit the bullet and developed five properties with this in mind. There were definitely challenges in the early days. We had the mystery of a murdered goldfish; smelly socks being left out; and big cheese heists from the fridges.


Helping them on their way.

I touched on some more serious issues too. It was oddly satisfying walking in to a house that stunk of cannabis and confronting a young person about the situation. They denied it until they were blue in the face, of course.

It took a little bit of time, some banter, a few firm words, and kindness to get through to them that the choices they make now could stay with them for the rest of their lives. I hope my influence and guidance will stay with them as they grow and develop. To say I’m proud of how far they’ve all come is an understatement. They deserve to go on to great things and I know they will.
So, to answer the above question… yes, definitely work with young people. Knowing that someone believes in them gives them the courage to achieve amazing things.


Emma (left) and Hazel (right) receive the Pat Chown (middle) Capturing Creativity Award in 2017.


The future.

I’m preparing to move on to a new role at Linc Cymru, and I’ll be working with older people again. I’ll miss the honest conversations about ‘who slept over the night before’ and ‘whose bed is noisiest’. But mostly I’ll miss the friendliest welcome from such an amazing group of young people.

I’ll miss Newydd. I’ll miss my colleague and friends. I’ll miss the tenants. But I’m leaving safe in the knowledge that I’m off to create havoc elsewhere with my crazy ideas. At the end of my day, I only want to go home knowing I’ve made a difference.



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