With COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, having a massive impact on entire communities, one young person supported by The Benjamin Foundation has seized the opportunity to give something back. Having secured a job at a local care home, Lily* aged 17, was also given a boost by the charity’s Young Person’s Fund – made possible by supporters of Sleep Out, our annual fundraising event.

Lily has been living at The Hub in King’s Lynn since November 2019. Having always wanted a caring job, she was thrilled when she was offered the post of a Healthcare Assistant at a care home in the town. She is especially pleased to be able to play a positive role in the community during the Coronavirus crisis.

“I was really nervous when I went for the interview. But they said they were excited to have me on the team and offered me a 22 hour contract. I was honestly ‘made up.”

With the job offer dependent on a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, Lily was anxious about how she would pay for this. The Local Authority were able to help, but with complexities surrounding her individual circumstances and different local authority areas, this would take time. However, with the ‘Young Person’s Fund’ it was possible to pay for her DBS check quickly and easily ensuring Lily can take up her new position without delay.

“The Young Person’s Fund paying for my DBS check took a massive pressure off my shoulders, because I was worried about how I would pay for this myself.”

Now, she has overcome this barrier and is looking forward to her next steps to independence by commencing her job helping local elderly people.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the care industry; working with the older generation, hearing their stories and understanding their physical problems. They have given us, the younger generation our future and I want to help them in the same way that they have helped us.”

Lily’s new job is just the first step as she also looks beyond Coronavirus to securing her own flat and independence, and she is grateful for all of the support she has received from The Hub and The Benjamin Foundation.

“I’ve the opportunity to get my own place and I’ve been making preparations for furniture with the help of The Hub. I’ve also gained AQA’s [qualifications that enable young people to progress to the next stage in their lives by learning life skills], to help me with things like cooking and budgeting money.

“I’ve had so much support.”

During COVID-19, we need your support more than ever to enable us to help more local, vulnerable young people like Lily. If you are able, please consider making a donation to our COVID-19 Emergency Appeal.

*Name has been changed

Homelessness is close to our hearts as an organisation and we wanted to support Sleep Out.

Norwich Sleep Out 2018 participant

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