Médecins Sans Frontières visit Chawleigh residential centre for homeless youths

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Thursday 30th May 2019 9:25 am
Flowa demonstrating an Ebola suit and with Amber residents (from left, Hayden, Flowa and Briony). ()

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THIS month the Amber Foundation, a charity working with young people grappling with homelessness in Devon, was thrilled to welcome Flowa Houldsworth, a volunteer with Medecines sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) to deliver a talk to their residents at Ashley Court, their centre located in Chawleigh.

At Ashley Court, Amber provides shelter and a holistic programme to up to 30 young people at a time who come from across Devon and beyond.

Amber offers much more than bed and board, every resident takes part in a full-time programme designed to support them to leave behind their troubled pasts and move on to bright independent futures.

Their approach works; last year the majority of the young people who turned to Amber left with a job, a place on a training programme or at university and most importantly a safe secure home of their own.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.

Their medical teams work all over the world responding to conflict, natural disasters and epidemics saving people’s lives.

Flowa delivered a photographic presentation about MSF’s co-ordinated response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2013-16.

Her talk included memories of her own experiences of working there as a nurse and midwife in 2014. She even took along a full protective Ebola Suit like the ones worn by medics while caring for patients.

Rebecca Fry, Fundraising Manager at Ashley Court, said: “An important part of Amber’s development programme is offering our young residents new experiences and a chance to expand their horizons.

“This is why we invite speakers in from all walks of life to deliver inspirational talks about their jobs, experiences and personal battles. Flowa’s talk was really engaging - we’re very grateful she came.”

Flowa said: “I really enjoyed meeting Amber’s current residents. They asked very interesting questions about the protective clothing worn by the MSF team to prevent the spread of infection.

“They shared their feelings on the devastation and grief suffered by Liberian families. We all found the experience very moving.”

Amber is always on the lookout for speakers to support its programme.

If you are interested in delivering a talk please contact Rebecca by emailing at: [email protected] or telephone on 01769 582020.


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