Young homeless people in Aylesbury will be offered a lifeline thanks to the launch of a new flagship project which has been kick-started by housing association Thrive Homes.
Thrive, a housing provider which manages a number of affordable homes in Aylesbury Vale, has awarded £750 from its small grants fund to Youth Concern in Aylesbury.
On the back of the cash injection, the local charity is launching a fundraising drive to bring in a total of £250,000 which will fund a new service they say is desperately needed to support the area’s growing number of young homeless people.
‘The Next Step’ project will provide accommodation for up to a year for 10 young people at a time, along with intensive, tailored support around health, skills and employment.
The idea behind the scheme is to give individuals longer term support to help them get back on their feet, build their confidence, develop their practical skills and boost their job prospects so they can eventually gain employment and live independently in their own home.
Fran Borg-Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Concern, said: “We are thrilled to receive this grant from Thrive Homes as it will kick-start our campaign to raise funds for our exciting new youth homeless accommodation project, The Next Step.
“The number of young homeless people is growing but there is not enough sustained support for them in this area, so such a project is desperately needed to empower and enable our young people to rebuild their lives after homelessness.
“As a community, we need to pull together to respond to the issue of homelessness and help young people cope with the increasingly complex challenges they face.”
Youth Concern currently runs the Aylesbury Nightstop project, which provides emergency short-term accommodation for 17-25-year-olds facing homelessness, as well as a drop-in centre and counselling services for young people aged 13-25.
The small independent charity, which is based in Whitehill Lane and celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, supported 565 young people in the last financial year alone, between April 2017 and March 2018.
Daryl Pereira, Engagement Business Partner at Thrive Homes, said: “We manage a number of affordable homes – for rent and for shared ownership – in Aylesbury, including a number that we have built as part of wider developments in recent years.
“As a social landlord, we are always keen to play our part and contribute to the local community, so we are pleased to be able to support Youth Concern and help them launch this exciting new project which looks set to transform many young people’s lives in the years to come.”
Thrive’s small grants fund awards sums of around £500 each to good causes in need of support, including charities, organisations and projects within the communities where Thrive operates.
The fund is part of the housing provider’s ‘Thrive GIVE’ initiative which aims to benefit communities and worthy schemes, bringing social value in a variety of ways.
Thrive GIVE (Generating Income for Voluntary Enterprises) includes the ‘Give Grants’ community fund, ‘Give your Time’ staff volunteering programme, ‘Give Support’ scheme which links charities with private sector support and ‘Give a Voice’ campaign to ensure customers have their say.