A celebration has been held to mark the first anniversary of Cantley House, a home in Doncaster that prepares care leavers for independent living.

The facility provides supported living for young people previously cared for through the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust.

Created in a partnership between the Trust, Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes, up to six care leavers can stay at Cantley House at any one time.

At the home they have their own bedroom, a shared kitchen and shared communal areas. Round the clock support is provided along with a life skills programme that gives guidance in areas such as general housekeeping and money management.

The properties were provided by St Leger Homes and a full renovation was funded by Doncaster Council.

Care leavers can stay for up to 12 months before being helped to access their own tenancy, if they are ready to do so following their stay. The home provides an alternative for the Trust, which previously had to rely on expensive private supported accommodation providers and group living arrangements.  

Following the success of Cantley House, there are now plans to open two further homes in the future.  

Mags Silvester, Manager of the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust House Project, said: “The first year at Cantley House has been phenomenal and we have seen huge success.

“One example is Sarah, who was the first care leaver to join us. She came to us in a very distressed state, not engaging in education, training or employment or knowing where she wanted to go with her life. We have seen her grow up into a very wonderful young lady. She now attends college and still keeps in touch with us.

“Once a young person has been with us, they’ll always be part of our hearts and part of Cantley House. We are very thankful for the wonderful work and dedication of our partners at Doncaster Council and St Leger, none of this would have been possible without them.”

Councillor Nuala Fennelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools at Doncaster Council said: "This is a fantastic example of partners coming together to offer a service that provides support for our care leavers to ensure they have the best possible start to adulthood. The service doesn't just provide a stepping stone to the right home, but the wider skills to make sure they can have a happy and independent future."

Paul Tanney, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “We are delighted to see the scheme at Cantley House celebrate its first anniversary. Over the last year the scheme has made a huge positive difference to care leavers by providing safe, secure homes and supporting people to develop the skills to live independently. We are proud to be a part of this important work.”