On 16th May 2016 Fledge opened the doors of its first residential home in Leigh Road, Eastleigh to its first two residents, in the wake of an official opening by the property’s owner John Piper and by Lauren Cheshire one of the Charity’s founders who, with her husband Mark had the initial vision to meet the need to provide caring ‘family’ accommodation for some of Eastleigh’s most vulnerable and homeless young adults.
Since then, Fledge has grown to offer accommodation to up twenty-six homeless and vulnerable young adults in five separate premises, and to provide emotional and life-skills support and training to help them move towards sustainable independent living.
Over the past five years Fledge has helped some 77 individuals, many facing significant mental health or emotional challenges and often with a traumatic past. In that time charity has provided 20,162 nights of accommodation, over 350 hours of ‘drop-in’ support sessions, 2880 hours of one-to-one support sessions, designed and developed 12 different issues- or skills-based training courses, many of them run on multiple occasions and seen a staff team grow from 2 to 7, rising to 9 in June 2021.
Commenting on the Anniversary, Fledge Chair, Phil Watts said: “On this unique anniversary special and sincere thanks and appreciation are due to all trustees, staff and supporters of Fledge, past and present, for their sustained commitment, hard work and passion for Fledge, and in support of our service users over these past five years.
Without the vision of Lauren and Mark Cheshire, the belief and perseverance of the Founding Trustees and those leading the Charity in the spring of 2016, the generosity of so many who have supported Fledge financially, in kind, and with prayer, and the sustained service of those trustees and staff who have followed, Fledge would never have achieved all it has done. To see former service users and residents moving on to take their rightful place in society, as a result of the skill and dedication of our wonderful staff team, and the hard work and faith of trustees and supporters past and present, is a huge reward and a huge endorsement of all that each one has contributed.”