Derwentside Homestay (Floating Support), Home Group – Care and Support

We provide housing related support to those at risk of losing their home or in need of extra help to maintain their independence and their tenancy. This includes couples, families and single people.

Our support offer is broken down into three main groups:

1. Advocacy and Advice

 2. Practical Support  

3. Emotional Support

 Assistance can be given in the following areas:

• Help in finding, setting up and maintaining a home • Support to access appropriate services relating to mental health. • Developing domestic or life skills, as well as social skills or behaviour management. • Advice, advocacy and liaison with relevant agencies. • Help in managing finances and benefit claims.  • Assistance with form filling, both paper and online.  • Emotional support, and advice.  • Help in establishing social contacts and activities. • Risk assessment to help in establishing personal safety and security. • Help finding alternative accommodation. • Help maintaining the safety and security of the home. • Advice and support on repairs and home improvement work. • Help with shopping, in times of crisis, and being good neighbour. • Access to local community organisations. • Support related to harassment, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour. • Signposting to culture specific legal services, health and treatment services or parenting advisory agencies. • Access to employment and training opportunities and signposting to providers. • Health Promotion, (may include Healthy eating, Contraception, etc.). • Encouraging empowerment and raising self-esteem. • Improving wellbeing and resilience.

 How we deliver it

Our focus is enabling customers to achieve their goals, however big or small these may be, with the ultimate aim being long term tenancy sustainment. Our customers may be finding it difficult to maintain their tenancy due to a finance need, they may no longer have appropriate accommodation due to a relationship breakdown or eviction, or they may have stumbled across difficult times and need some support to navigate through their situation. Our service is available to all County Durham residents aged 16 and over, of any tenure type, including homeowners.  

We are focused on empowering customers and ensuring that they have respect, dignity, independence, choice and control. To achieve this, we offer a variety of different support interventions:

Drop ins  

These are usually the point of access for customers referring themselves to us.  Prior to Covid-19, we had drop ins based across the County Durham area and although these are currently not running in their usual way, there are several ways customers can access virtual support, which are detailed at the bottom of this document.  The Drop-In team provide support to customers to manage what is happening right now in their lives and do so at the first point of contact.  The team concentrate only on what the customer wants to address and always aim to resolve the issue/s with the customer as quickly as possible.  Some customers may need to be in touch with us more than once and are welcome to come back to us as many times as required to resolve one or several needs.  The different elements of our service perfectly suit the adapting situations our customers sometimes face, and should it be necessary, we will ask our Floating Support team to put in some longer term more intensive support.  We may also refer into another Home Group service, or signpost to a different organisation.  This step up and down offer means the most relevant support is always in place for our customers and enables continuity of service provider for our customers despite their adapting support requirements.   

Floating support

This is usually offered where a customer’s needs are a little more complex, or when it will take longer to achieve the goals identified in the support plan. The Floating Support team will work with customers to build a personalised plan appropriate for their ongoing support needs.  The service can be in place for up to six months, but a shorter length of service is common too.  It’s often the case that customers enter our service via our Drop ins and support is stepped up to the floating support service.  This might happen straight away or following a change in situation.  Customers can also be referred to the floating support service directly, by sending the SP referral form to our gateway.   

Group work

These sessions focus on delivering programmes to a vast range of groups, around Housing, Finance, Physical Health, Universal Credit and PIP.  We also aim to prevent issues and develop skills around managing a tenancy and budgeting for our customers to use to support their resilience.  Dependent on customer need, the programme will continue to grow and develop bespoke packages upon request.

When is it on?

Time of day
Session information
Monday to Friday
9.00am - 5.00pm

Who to contact

Contact name
The Gateway
0191 332 4935

Where to go

The Gateway
Mercury House
Belmont Business Park
County Durham

Other details

Cost description
There is no charge for this service
Referral required?
Referral and availability notes

Professional contact / referral


Information or request referral form : 0191 332 4935

Support for you?

Customer line: 0191 731 1470


facebook: County Durham Homestay Service 

Text service: 07341 457573.


Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.

Useful documents

  • Homegroup

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Address: Mercury House  Belmont Business Park  Belmont  Durham  County Durham

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