Rhona D’Ambrosio – A New Horizon legend takes a bow

Posted on: 2 February 2024

For 28 years, Rhona D’Ambrosio has been a loved and respected member of our Housing Advice team and a New Horizon legend. As she takes her bow for some very well deserved rest, we wanted to celebrate the incredible impact she’s created and the lives she’s touched. The world is a better place because of her tireless work and dedication to young people.

“Whenever New Horizon gets mentioned among those who used to attend Rhona is one of the first names to pop up and every one always said how you really took your role so seriously and dedicated your life to helping young people” – A young woman supported by Rhona

So how has New Horizon changed and shaped while Rhona’s been here?

Rhona’s original staff photo from the 90’s.

  • Rhona started with us as a locum back in 1996, the same year that Take That split up,  Dolly the sheep (the first mammal to be successfully cloned) was born, and the average price of a house in England was just £53,331.
  • While our current database doesn’t quite go back the full 28 years, we estimate that during her time at New Horizon, Rhona has directly supported over 3,000 young people. Hearing their stories, offering advice, making referrals and creating positive pathways out of homelessness for so many. And that number doesn’t even include the extra impact created by supporting her wider team, helping out in our day centre and contributing to system change
  • The Housing Act also came into place in 1996, confirming additional eligibility for recognising priority need, including those fleeing domestic violence, pregnant women, and those who had lost their accommodation through a fire, floor or natural disaster. At the time, NHYC campaigned to have young people included in the priority need, a fight we didn’t win but campaign to do until this day.
  • Rhona was first introduced to New Horizon by her friend and colleague, Hu. Hu later became a trustee of NHYC for over a decade. She only intended to pop in to our relatively new centre in Kings Cross for a quick visit but somehow, never left! This happens to many of us!
  • Working first on a locum basis, Rhona quickly went onto secure a permanent position as an Advice and Resettlement Worker. Often young people’s first point of contact, Rhona would work to assess their needs, provide expert advice around their homelessness, and support them to progress into both emergency and long-term accommodation. She also made regular resettlement visits to various accommodation providers where young people were housed, delivering joint keywork sessions, linking them in with health, training and employment support, and contributing positively to their overall wellbeing. Rhona was critical in New Horizon maintaining housing partnerships and opening up new bed spaces for young people.
  • More recently, Rhona helped us shift our Advice service to remote delivery during the pandemic, has been our resident benefits expert, and advocated passionately for high-quality, youth specific accommodation options. She has never faltered in her passion, commitment to delivering the best outcomes possible, and believing that every young person deserves to be safe, housed and supported.

It’s impossible to fully express the good and difference Rhona has made at New Horizon. From all us us, we want to say  a huge thank you to Rhona from all of us for everything! A true legend and one that both us and young people will never forget.

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