We want to end youth homelessness. Each night we give a safe home and support to up to 180 vulnerable young people in Norfolk and Suffolk. This equates to 50,000 safe nights every year. We also help them to learn essential life skills, such as shopping, cooking and managing money and support their careers aspirations so they can eventually go on to forge successful independent lives.
Jade* age 18 has lived at one of our accommodation centres in Suffolk for just over two months. Prior to this, she lived at a different accommodation provider, which felt daunting to her. In Jade’s time with The Benjamin Foundation, with support from our team and Job Coach, she has completed online beauty courses, which have helped her to carve out a future career path. Jade tells us more:
“During my time here, I have learned how to manage my money weekly in terms of food shopping and going to and from a nearby town where my family and friends are. It has given me time and space to complete my Classic Lashes Course online with The Beauty Academy, allowed me to focus and complete one course, and I have now started a second.” Jade explains.
Jade met with Joe, The Benjamin Foundation Job Coach. After an initial meeting and gaining lots of information and understanding on what Jade wished to achieve, Joe helped to facilitate start of a new course thanks to generous funding from EMR Group, a corporate supporter of The Benjamin Foundation. With the help of a bursary thanks to End Youth Homelessness, we were able to provide Jade with starter kit in order for practical assessments to be completed.
Jade continues: “Joe, The Benjamin Foundation Job Coach, visited and we talked through what I needed to do. He saw the dedication and effort I put into the Classic course. The Benjamin Foundation has funded the Hybrid course and items I needed for the practical side, for which I am very grateful. I have started the written assessment this week and have all the kit to complete the practical side over the next three months. I have also completed a CV with him, which I will use in the future.
I have become very focused on what I want in terms of completing the lashes course and my future career path and have organised my time and days to make sure I get it all completed.
My highlight has been completing the coursework. I am thankful that a staff member from The Benjamin Foundation was happy to be used to apply the lashes and take them off for the practical side of the course. The written assessment has been completed and I passed this and I am now waiting for the practical assessment to be marked before gaining my qualification!
Thanks to this course and kit, I will be able to get another qualification that should see me be able to go and work in a salon and be able to earn good money and get lots of clients. My aim is to own my own business, which I will hopefully start up when I finish the relevant course and move in the coming future. I will look to use social media as a platform to spread my work.
I feel pleased that I have had the opportunity to focus and set myself goals and complete them. I also feel very positive, I’ve built on many skills, my coursework, as well as a little bit of cooking, making sure I’m clean and tidy in the kitchen and in the house and have plenty of life skills for hopefully getting my own place soon. I’ve taken responsibility for my housing options, completing Gateway and HomeLink and sorting out my Universal Credit form so I’m organised for my move.”
Jade will also be looking to gain more qualifications to continue to improve her ability.
“I feel more confident about living by myself now, as I know how to use my money and also have something to look forward to in terms of work. I can also be in charge of my own time and am excited about having the freedom to be in charge of myself. In the future, I will look back on my time with The Benjamin Foundation as very good and I’m grateful for all the help staff have given me.
I would just like to say thank you to funders and supporters of The Benjamin Foundation for your help and support – I intend to make the most of the opportunity!”
Thank you to Jade for sharing her story. If you can help more young people in Norfolk and Suffolk like Jade to take their next steps to independence, please consider making a one-off or a regular donation here.
*Name has been changed