We want to end youth homelessness and we’re tackling the problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people in Norfolk and Suffolk every night. We give them a safe and stable home and the skills they need so they can leave us and forge an independent life.
James* age 17 is currently living at one of our accommodation centres in Ipswich for vulnerable young people. He has lived there since September 2018 following a breakdown in family relationships. It’s been a difficult time for him but living at our accommodation centre, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has given him some much-needed stability and the support of our team is helping him to take the next, positive step in his progression towards independence.
“I’ve got my own room here.” James explains. “I can talk openly with staff too.”
Our charity also supports the education, training and career of the young people we support, and ensure they have life skills such as shopping, cooking and being able to budget their money.
“I can now do things like the washing up and ironing – I didn’t know how to iron before. I’ve also had help with finding a job. The Benjamin Foundation Job Coach helped me with my CV and I’ve done a twelve week Prince’s Trust programme in Ipswich too.”
Money raised by supporters taking part in the 2018 Ipswich Sleep Out has been used for a ‘Young Person’s Fund.’ This is a special fund which enables the local young people supported by our charity’s Housing and Homelessness services can apply for a grant, in agreement with their Support Worker, to use in a way that best suits their needs. This could be anything from household essentials, like crockery, a toaster and kettle, to counselling to support their emotional wellbeing, or transport to build their confidence and independence.
James has been able to make use of this fund to make purchases he wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford, such as a new coat when he lost his, and a bicycle to enable him to get to college without having to rely on public transport.
He is so grateful for the support of The Benjamin Foundation and the fund that has been made possible due to supporters taking part in Sleep Out. James is now looking to the future; he is exploring the possibility of an apprenticeship and is particularly interested in becoming a chef and hopes to move into his own place in the coming months.
*Name has been changed.
If you would like to support our work to prevent local youth homelessness and give vulnerable young people like James a stable home and the skills, support and opportunities they need to forge an independent life, register for Ipswich Sleep Out, our annual fundraising event, below: