Two groups of our residents have visited escape rooms recently. In addition to being a fun way for residents to spend time with each other out of the house, they are also a great way to help new housemates bond and get to know one another. Escape rooms require participants to work together in a team to solve a series of puzzles and challenges within the allotted time. As well as being a good ice-breaker, they also encourage communication skills and foster a spirit of unity.
Successfully completing an escape room could also be seen as a metaphor for the journey of a Restore resident. People come to us oftentimes trapped by challenging circumstances or negative patterns of behaviour. They can sometimes feel like there is no way out of the situation in which they’ve found themselves, or that they are stuck in a negative cycle with no hope of escape. The role of our housing support team is to get alongside each resident and draw up a bespoke support plan, designed to help every individual tackle the difficulties in their own life and move forwards in a positive way. In overcoming the challenges they have faced, our residents are able to find hope for the future and rebuild their lives. In coming alongside people, meeting them where they are at, and helping them to see a way beyond their current situation, our team have helped thirty people move from Restore to a property of their own so far this year, and we hope to help even more to do so over the coming year.
There’s a gospel dimension here too, of course. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”[i] Placing our hope in Jesus; in His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, sets us free from sin and death.
When a Restore resident gets keys to their own tenancy, it is a monumental milestone in their journey. Just as teams who successfully complete an escape room often have their photo taken with a key or a timer to show they ‘beat the room,’ so our residents are often pictured proudly holding the key to their new home. We love celebrating this achievement with them, and seeing the excitement as they get settled into a place of their own, often for the very first time in their lives.
You can be part of making a Restore resident feel at home in their new place by covering the cost of a ‘new home welcome pack’ in our Christmas fundraising campaign. By donating just £15, you make it possible for us to purchase one of these packs, which include items such as a dustpan and brush; washing up liquid; kitchen cleaner; bathroom cleaner; cleaning cloths; bin bags; lightbulbs; toilet roll, and a box of teabags. We’ll package the items in a re-useable jute bag (which comes in handy at the supermarket!) and add a welcome card, with messages of hope and encouragement for the recipient. If you would like to contribute, please click here to visit our Christmas appeal giving page.
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