Older people sometimes get accused by members of our society of being selfish and greedy, taking wealth from the younger generation, as they have been lucky enough to be born into a generation where things were very different. Jobs for life, generous pensions and incomes were far more certain – although not for all, we recognise.
However, there is a way in which the older generation who do see themselves as more fortunate can help young people who are truly in need this winter.
It’s that time of year when some parts of the media start predicting “the coldest winter on record is coming” and people start cranking up the heating, stocking up on logs and preparing to hunker down over the festive period.
The Christmassy song goes: “Baby it’s cold outside!” But that’s not the half of it, especially if you are without somewhere permanent to call home.
Being kicked out because you don’t get on with your family or leaving in the belief that there will be somewhere safe available away from violence and neglect at home are not uncommon stories heard from homeless young people when we speak with them.
At BYHP we work with a range of young people all year round who are in very precarious housing situations and frequently spending time sofa surfing, looking for somewhere to stay or unfortunately living outside on the streets.
Most times of the year it is awful but during winter it can be deadly.
The team at BYHP work tirelessly to help young people in this situation through helping them rebuild family relationships, to get access to benefits they are entitled to, helping them to access public and private sector accommodation, enabling them to build confidence and skills and working with them to find employment opportunities.
However, the work BYHP does with 200-300 young people annually costs about £240,000 and funding sources are becoming increasingly difficult to access and more and more competitive.
So last year, when someone who regarded themselves as fortunate donated their £200 Winter Fuel Allowance to BYHP as part of our Christmas Campaign, we thought it important to thank them publicly.
This year we have already had two very kind people pledge their Winter Fuel Allowance payment to BYHP as part of this year’s Christmas Campaign so we thought we’d once more make a public thank you and to share the idea more widely in case anyone else wished to help young people in difficulty.
Thank you very much to those two kind donors.
To donate please go to: www.byhp.org.uk/support-us.html or call BYHP on 01295 259442.
It seems that youth work, at times, does not get the credit that it so very much deserves. Often frowned upon, youth work can be seen as nothing more than a worker playing pool with young people and the question can often arise “what is its purpose?”
Youth work is so much more than that, and like a complex puzzle has many vital pieces that help build its true picture. But it is the youth workers themselves from which youth work really comes to life.
The facts are that if people struggle to understand the ever building issues that young people continue to face within contemporary society, then of course youth work will be viewed as nothing more than a worker playing pool with young people.
But if people are instead able to step back and seriously consider the various struggles that young people face when trying to conform to the way in which society expects them to, then they can begin to see youth work in its truest form and begin to understand just how incredibly important a role it plays.
The truth is that many young people find it very difficult when riding the rapids of mainstream influence which can often lead to a sea of issues. Once contrived, these issues can run deep often causing financial instability, mental health problems, drug and alcohol issues and at worst homelessness. And all of which lead to social exclusion.
From in the workplace to a hectic family life, stress is an issue that affects many of us around Britain. National Stress Awareness Day brings much needed exposure on how important it is to address stress as a serious problem that can be hugely detrimental to our physical and mental well-being, and aims to start the conversation about the many things we can do to help reduce it within our lives.
We asked Roz, one of BYHP’s Counselling and Family Mediation team, to explain how stress can impact the lives of the young people we work with:
“Many of the families that we work with at BYHP experience high levels of stress. The pressures on families and young people are much greater than they used to be. Schools and the work places have become more competitive and most of the young people we work with have struggled in school and come out with few if any qualifications. This results in it becoming far more difficult for them to find suitable training, apprenticeships or work and in turn places more pressure on families. In addition, most of the young people who access our services are suffering from mental health problems like depression and anxiety and this can also make family life challenging.
At BYHP we run our training programme Unlocking Potential where the emphasis is on nurturing and raising the self-esteem and confidence of each young person. We offer mediation to families when relationships are breaking down and there is a risk of homelessness and we offer individual counselling to young people who are finding it difficult to cope with life’s stresses. We also have a Housing Advisor who can support young people when they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”
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
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.