Hosting during a pandemic – David’s story
“I started with supported lodging two years ago and now have my second lodger, quite different in character to the first. As with people from difficult backgrounds it can be challenging in so many different ways, but all immensely rewarding and I haven’t looked back. The great thing is that both lodger and host have such tremendous support from SASH.
In the run up to lockdown, things looked bleak, my lodger had just secured a job at a well-known hotel in York, only to be told because of coronavirus the job was on hold, with no certainty that there would be one at the end of all this. Then a few days before lock down he had some of the corona virus symptoms, so we both were both in isolation. His girlfriend, who lives in York too, was quite ill although thankfully not hospitalised.
“What made the isolation actually a pleasure was to be sharing my home with my lodger…”
I could work from home, bringing paperwork up to date and other administrative tasks, which was good and at the end of the two weeks I was fortunate enough to have a job to go back to. However, what made the isolation actually a pleasure was to be sharing my home with my lodger, as during the day there was an actual person to talk to, which was really important to me as I live on my own.
“The other really nice thing was every evening we would cook together…”
The other really nice thing was every evening we would cook together, gradually eating our way through my freezer, proper meals from scratch including more complicated sauces, such as béarnaise. Also for the first time my lodger made pizza from scratch. It really made for a really good end to what may have been a tedious day.
The evening cooking ritual continued after I went back to work, and was something good to come home to.
“In different ways lockdown was good for us both as we helped each other through it without really realising that we were.”
In short, in different ways lockdown was good for us both as we helped each other through it without really realising that we were. My lodger’s outlet was his computer and talking and gaming with friends, mine was the bike and the camera and then at the end of the day coming together for a meal and talking about the day.
“My lodger now has a job a Morrison’s and is doing very well, his confidence and sense of well-being has increased exponentially during lockdown”
My lodger now has a job a Morrison’s and is doing very well, his confidence and sense of well-being has increased exponentially during lockdown and is now pretty much self-sufficient in cooking.
In summary having someone around, (who is not family) in times of adversity is a tremendous support for both people. So lockdown has actually enriched the supported lodging experience and demonstrated that both host and young person can benefit equally in different ways, so I would exhort anyone who has a spare room to take the plunge into supported lodging, as it will take you on an unparalleled journey of amazing experiences to treasure forever. No experience is ever actually bad and is part of life’s rich pageant adding to ones learning and understanding of life in all its raw beauty.”