it is really great to have an opportunity like Small Charity Week last week between 13-18th June and here at BYHP we really did our very best to capitalise on the opportunity to get our message out there.
We have been lucky to have half of the Moss Bros window in Banbury high street and the feedback has been positive about our display.
We engaged with over 70 local businesses to ask them to help us by displaying our posters and flyers to try to get out the message that BYHP is not just Homelessness and about 30 responded positively and have kindly put up posters in their shop windows over the last week.
I was fortunate to get an opportunity to speak with the Banbury Guardian who did a great 2 page spread on BYHP for the current edition of the paper and we got the chance to launch the campaign on Puritans Radio.
Finally we have done lots of things on the web - social media posts and shares, Facts About BYHP, blogs and we planned to do some vlogs but we ran out of time and resource to get them prepared, edited and posted, so you may see them here in coming days.
We felt it was a useful activity and we would like to thank all those who supported us during that week and on an on on-going basis.
We are now onto the next things which includes BYHP's Community Big Lunch on Sat 2/7 and attendance at a number of Summer events including Bodfest and Fairport's Cropredy Convention.
Please come along on 2nd July and look out for us at the events.
By Deb Parker
What does it mean when we say we work holistically with our young people? One definition of Holistic is: dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.
H is not just for Homelessness; there is always more to a person than being just homeless, there is a reason behind it, often complex and often challenging. We look at the person, not the problem and assess together how we can help.
We believe that we offer an all-round support package for our young people. When they access one of our services, we get to know them, welcome them and together see what we can do to help each individual on their journey, whether it be enrolling on Unlocking Potential to develop employability skills, Family Mediation if home life is not happy or Counselling if they have problems and anxieties that they need to talk about. If we can’t help with a young person’s issues, if they are more specialised, we have links with local partnerships who can help such as Turning Point or Mind.
We think of each young person as a whole person not as a problem. We work not only with them but with their families when needed. We feed them, offer a variety of healthy foods and encourage positive choices. We encourage socialisation and promote aspirations in a non-judgemental environment. That is what we mean by working with a young person holistically.
Young people need to be ‘heard’ and that is the core of the Counselling Service we offer at BYHP. As Counsellors, we are trained to listen to our clients, to put ourselves in their shoes and to put aside our own preoccupations. Sometimes this can be a difficult experience because it means being in touch with
the young person’s pain. We are trained to be aware of non-verbal communication like body language and to listen to the feelings behind what a young person is saying. We are always non-judgemental and respectful towards the young person. Being heard in this way enables a young person to feel accepted and valued for who they are and helps to improve their sense of self-esteem.
Mediation at BYHP is a process in which people learn to ‘hear’ each other. We offer mediation to families when relationships are breaking down and there is a risk that the young person will become homeless. We support both the parent and the young person individually at first and then when they are ready, they come together for a mediation meeting. As mediators, we are impartial and our role is to facilitate communication and the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view which is crucial to reaching an agreement. Each person has the opportunity to say how they feel and to be listened to without being interrupted. Being ‘heard’ is an empowering experience for both the young person and the parent and something that they can continue with after mediation has finished.
If you feel you or someone you know could benefit from a trained counsellor or mediator’s help, please contact us for more information or to book an appointment.
01295 259 442
2 Chandos Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4TL
Ros Jones MBACP
This campaign will continue throughout the year but the launch sees us working with our friends and supporters right across the town highlighting the facts about BYHP and what BYHP does.
The #BYHPnotjustHomeless & #FactsAboutBYHP hashtags and a range of posters and social media icons and pictures have been designed to explain that whilst BYHP means Banbury Young Homelessness Project, the work which the BYHP team does covers a wide range of activities related to all young people aged 13-25 in the Banbury and surrounding areas.
Local shops and businesses have kindly agreed to display one or more of the BYHP campaign posters in their windows or around their premises to help us get the message out that the H in BYHP means so much more than Homelessness.
We have a main focus around the former Moss Bros shop in Banbury High Street and hopefully some media coverage through the week as we share more about what BYHP does.
Please see our website www.byhp.org.uk for all of the information you need about BYHP’s services, how you can get involved and how you can donate.
See @byhpbanbury on twitter and byhpservices on Facebook for the #SmallCharityWeek updates on #BYHPnotjustHomelessness & #FactsAboutBYHP.
Having a busy job that demands a lot of me, I was looking for something to balance the pressures and strain of corporate life and try and give a little back at the same time.
The limited time I spend at BYHP I find tremendously rewarding by hopefully making a difference to those that are in need of help.
I think BYHP is a fantastic charity and given its limited funding and resources available, I think it's truly wonderful what the team there do in terms of help those that are in serious need.
It is all too easy for those of us that are not in need of support from charities such as BYHP to walk on the other side of the road. I consider myself extremely fortunate and had I not had the opportunities and safety net in life that I have, I could easily see myself in a similar situation to those that BYHP serves. That is what drives me to support them and offer the small bit of help that I do.
I would absolutely recommend anyone to support BYHP.
The impact that volunteers have on our Wednesday night Peer Support group cannot be overestimated.
We have been so fortunate over the years that we have been running the group to have the most amazing and committed help.
Having volunteers from other walks of life enriches the experience for us and for the young people; when we sit around the table to have our dinner ‘en famille’ the atmosphere and the talk around the table is like being a part of a huge family.
Our volunteers each offer just themselves with a wide diversity of life skills, willing to be adaptable to whatever our needs are. It might be sitting with a young person giving them some individual time and support, a listening ear, or it could be cooking for fifteen hungry mouths!
The young people touch our volunteers with their life stories and they find it humbling to be privy to sometimes very emotional and troubled backgrounds.
For anyone thinking of volunteering, please send us a message firstname.lastname@example.org. and for those volunteers who may be reading this, thank you for your support and for caring; you are most appreciated!
Now I have an opportunity to put something back into society and hopefully let some younger, not so fortunate people as myself, benefit from what I’ve experienced - BYHP offers a near perfect environment to do this.
As I meet and talk to the youngsters passing through the organisation, I’m frequently disturbed by the total lack of confidence and self esteem that they display. Invariably, this is rooted in a basic lack of family support and constant critical pressure from their peers.
As I get older, I recognise the futility of being judgemental, of people or events. It creates an atmosphere of negativity which is difficult to overcome. Our young people need to experience real ‘hope’ and a realisation that they CAN succeed in life. If I can be seen as someone who takes them truly at face value, and is not judgemental, then perhaps any advice or guidance I might offer will be listened to.
Older people have a lot to offer the young, and can often associate more easily with them than their immediate families.
Volunteering can be very fulfilling – try it !
Written by John Marshal
To see Johns profile please visit
BYHP is a small charity with 7 employees (4 full time & 3 part time) which relies on the amazing support of a number of volunteers to support 200-300 young people a year.
BYHP's volunteers come from a range of walks of life and are a range of ages.
Increasingly young people who have accessed and benefitted from BYHP's services come back to help as volunteers, either as they realise what they have gained and want to give back or as a way to continue their skills to help them become ready for paid work.
BYHP's volunteers undertake roles such as helping at the weekly Job Club, helping young people write CVs and apply for jobs, they manage and organise the Foodbank which the young people have access to, they help set up and manage the laptops & other technology we use for Job Club and the Unlocking Potential training course and they use the food donated by local supermarkets and severed to us by Food for Charities and make delicious, nutritional lunches and dinners for the young people who access those services.
See the bios of some of our volunteers here: http://www.byhp.org.uk/our-volunteers.html
BYHP also attends and organises a number of events throughout the year and volunteers make up a substantial part of the teams who promote BYHP's work to the public and help raise awareness and funds to continue that work.
We are always looking to add people to our list of volunteers and a range of roles are available here: http://www.byhp.org.uk/jobs.html
If you interested, contact us and we will send you an application form, we will ask you in for a chat to discuss options to see if there is a role which is the right fit for both you and BYHP.
We are very keen to make the volunteer experience a great one for both sides and so will only move forward with a potential volunteer if everything works, as we know a volunteer's time is precious and so we want the time spent at BYHP to be rewarding and fulfilling.
Today marks the start of volunteer week http://volunteersweek.org
Here at BYHP we are going to mark the 12 days of the week (yes 12 - figure that out!) with a series of blogs detailing how we work with volunteers, what they do for us and the benefits they bring us and volunteering brings them.
Although we have a team of paid employees working at BYHP many of us started our involvement through volunteering and we are so glad we did!
There is a lot of research about both the level of volunteering in the UK and also the benefits - both physical and psychological - of helping others.
Here are just a couple of articles:
Or more simply put by Action for Happiness
Of course, we are always looking for new volunteers to add to the amazing group who already help us and if you would like to volunteer at BYHP we have some specific roles which are detailed on our website.
For opportunities generally around Banbury see:
Thanks to all of our fab volunteers - you are amazing !
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.