Google translate Google translate
click to choose
Colour contrast Contrast
Font size Text size
Toggle search
  • Date: 13/05/2024

Meet the Housing Support Coach working hard to expand on mental health support for her younger customers

This Mental Health Awareness Week, one of our colleagues is launching an initiative to provide mental health support to young people who have faced homelessness - through the power of books.

Jade Starkey-Bossons is a Housing Support Coach at our Young Person’s Service, ran by our homelessness specialist Concrete.

Jade’s role involves supporting teens and young adults who have been through difficult times and faced homelessness, such as leaving care. At Concrete’s Young Person’s Service, over 30 young people have access to a safe place to live and 24/7 support, to help them reach a new chapter.

In her own time, Jade is an independent partner at book company Usborne. She’s also passionate about mental health support, particularly for young people.

Earlier this year she decided to combine her two passions to create a real impact for local young people. Working with businesses, she started a book sponsorship scheme, where a pack of mental health support books can be sponsored for a small fee and donated to a local school.

So far she has supplied books to over 40 schools across North Staffordshire, and is now expanding the project to support her own customers at Concrete. She’s urging local individuals and businesses to sponsor a pack of books, for just £23, with the overall aim of giving a pack to every single young person that her service supports.

Jade Starkey-Bossons

Jade has shared more about the scheme, and why she’s so keen to equip all of her customers with the literature.

“I started working with Usborne and set up my own independent book business, Rainny Day Bookshop, after my son. When I saw that they were really championing these mental health books, I thought they were incredible, and knew it was something that I had to support.

“I started thinking about how I could make a difference, and decided to ask individuals and businesses to sponsor a pack of four books, which would then be donated to local schools. These cover everything from mental health support, to social media and friendship guides.

“On a personal level, it was something that I knew would have been so beneficial to me as a young person. I struggled with my own mental health at that age, so I wanted to be able to have a positive impact and really equip local young people with these tools, to know how to look after themselves and where to go for support if they need it.”

Books in the pack include social media and friendship survival guides

So far she has provided book packs for over 40 schools across North Staffordshire – and now wants to expand the initiative to the young people that she supports in her role!

“When our young people move in, they’ve come from lots of different backgrounds. We support ex care leavers, unaccompanied young asylum seekers and young people who have experienced difficult times and perhaps not had that mental health support before.

“The books will not only give them the tools to feel empowered to be able to speak up if they are struggling, but they will also hopefully start conversations. Quite often this can be the most difficult part, opening up for the first time.

“My hope is that they read something in the books that they can then feel confident enough to discuss with someone they trust.”

If you’d like to support the initiative and sponsor a book pack for a young person for £23, please get in touch with Jade by emailing