Cash for families to house mentally ill

Families in Comet country are being offered �600 a week to house people recovering from mental health problems.

Couples and families are being asked by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to provide a home for a few weeks to those with mental health issues to give them a chance to feel part of a family.

As well as providing a caring environment, host families will be paid the weekly allowance to support their guest with simple daily activities, such as cooking and shopping.

Trust team manager Nic Kamera said the initiative is aimed at giving people with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder better social skills.

“We look at what environment is important to the person and link this to the hobbies and interests of the host family. So it may be they want to be around pets or they like shopping, cooking or going for walks,” he said.

The scheme will use a similar system to fostering, where CRB checks, references and information from social services is sought as part of the application process.

The trust will be promoting the initiative at a stall in Stevenage Westgate Centre from 11am to 3pm on Saturday March 26.

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Mr Kamera said: “We are really looking forward to visiting Stevenage and telling as many people as possible about the benefits of being a host family. I would encourage people who are interested to pop along, have a chat with the team and pick up a leaflet.”