Its Volunteers Week again, and we like to make the most of saying thanks to all our volunteers during this time. We have an evening planned for Wednesday 7th June to celebrate the amazing work that they all do. We also love to here from them about their experiences with us.
So......back in June 2016 one of our amazing volunteers, John Marshall, wrote this post:
We are so grateful to still have John working with us and he has written this update to his blog of last year.
I’ve been a volunteer with BYHP for 3 years, and have enjoyed immensely working with such dedicated and enthusiastic people that make up ‘the team’.
A significant proportion of BYHP’s help and support to young people takes place “in the field”, so to speak, in the form of face to face counselling, family mediation sessions, looking for housing solutions etc., etc., conducted by highly trained, highly committed, professional personnel.
As a volunteer, I’m not a trained counsellor, although some of us are, but in order for an organisation like BYHP to function efficiently, it requires dedicated back room staff. I carry the glamourous title of ‘volunteer administrator’, and am currently occupied in scrutinising and updating all BYHP’s mandatory Policies and Procedures. Mind numbing at times, but absolutely vital in maintaining the professionalism and integrity of the organisation.
Other volunteers help organise the Food Bank, or are actively supporting the many fundraising activities which take place during the year. There are many ways people like me can help at BYHP.
Come and join us. Volunteering can be very fulfilling – try it !
For more information about volunteering with BYHP please contact Ginette Wheeldon on email@example.com
It has been a while since we updated you on BYHP activities and news so below is a summary of what has been happening and what's to come.
Trips & Outings
Horse Therapy @ Emma's Farm - Feb 2017
We took the young people and volunteers from our Peer Support Group to Live, Love,Be at Mill Farm where Emma, our volunteer counselor, offers Therapy Through Horses to young people. We all had a great day out on the farm bonding with the ponies and enjoyed our picnic lunch around the camp fire, reading stories.
Oxford Visit - April 2017
We had a great day out in Oxford; the sun was shining, the CrossCountry trains were on time and Oxford looked absolutely stunning. We visited the Oxford Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum which were both full of interest and we could have stayed there much longer.
We had a delicious lunch at Crisis Skylight Oxford, just what we needed to recharge our batteries and support such an amazing social enterprise. When we left to catch our train back to BYHP Supporting Young People in Housing Need we all decided that we need to visit Oxford more often; it is thanks to the generous donations of our supporters that allows us to take our young people out occasionally and let them experience some of our local culture.
100 in 2017 Fundraising Challenge
We decided to challenge ourselves with the task of identifying and recruiting 100 different individuals, organisations, groups and businesses to help us generate up to £50,000 in fundraising income, approximately 20% of BYHP’s total annual income.
We want to build a community of fundraisers who we can promote and spotlight in our communications, in the press, and on this website to publicly showcase the amazing fundraising which goes on. #BYHP100in2017
We have created a specific new logo (which can be seen here), and a campaign support pack which we hope will answer all of your questions.
We will also issue certificates to everyone taking part and raising funds for BYHP and we will be giving out t-shirts to our fundraisers to help raise our profile.
Young Person of the Year 2016
Vincent North is our Young Person of 2016. He was handed his award by last year's winner (Young Person of the Year 2015), Luke Merriman, at the BYHP Advocate Network evening in February. The evening was held at The Entertainer, were another BYHP supporter, Sarka Naivertova, talked about her experience climbing Mnt Kilimanjaro to raise funds for BYHP.
Vincent has secured a full-time job in Banbury, following a period of upheaval due to redundancies at his last place of work. He recently passed both his driving theory and driving test. Vincent, when possible, helps BYHP by volunteering at events and has a wonderful positive attitude in all he does.
Shenfest- Events between Fri 9th Jun 19:30 & Sun 11th 14:00
The Shenington with Alkerton's music and literature festival. Any spare funds arising from the festival will go to help to maintain the Village Hall, their two fine Norman churches and to BYHP.
Heyford Park Airbase Races - Sun 11th Jun @ 10:00
BYHP is the nominated charity for this event and we will have a presence on the day promoting our work. In addition, as part of the 100 in 2017 Fundraising Challenge, there will be a number of runners running on behalf of BYHP, many of whom are linked to Jamie Briggs Removals and Storage Ltd.
BYHP's Community Big Lunch - Sun 2nd Jul @ 12:00
A free afternoon of fun with the local community to include a bring and share lunch, music, crafts, games and activities for all of the family. This will be BYHP's third Big Lunch.
Bodfest- Sat 8th Jul @ 12:00
Bodfest is a family friendly festival which will be held at Bodicote Park. There will be live music & games, a food court and BYHP will have a stall in the street market.
Fairport's Cropredy Convention - Running from Thu 10th Aug to Sat 12th
BYHP will hold a stall within the festival, selling raffle tickets a selection of drinks and some fun festival themed goodies.
Recently, I had the surprising pleasure of seeing how one of the biggest support pillars in my life has evolved. Since becoming a single parent 8 years ago, I have faced many challenges to get some level of control in my life. The biggest challenge being that I had no idea where to turn for support, and boy did I need support. Having sole responsibility for a year-and-a-half-old boy, and a half-a-year-old baby boy seemed very daunting at the time. I didn’t have any immediate family available to support me, and I had no idea what to do with no income and a family to raise. I had to stop working to look after the children full time and I was so worried about losing my income (as I had two jobs at the time to try and make ends meet).
My friend was a volunteer at Banbury Young Homelessness Project, a young person initiative set up to support young people and their families in times of strife. They advise on how to get funds, education on key skills in home economics and the workplace, and an immense amount of support for those of us who struggle to keep our chin up when there doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer to the challenges life throws at us.
Before I had the children full time, BYHP helped me find a place to live with an amazing landlord who also did a lot for the youth in the community. When I had the children, it was obvious where I needed to turn for answers. BYHP ran many sessions throughout the week such as Positive Parenting on a Thursday morning, where I met other young single parents in a similar situation as me. Although I was the only single Dad amongst them, we all had something in common. We grew stronger together as we realised we weren’t alone in our journey. Other sessions included cooking, budgeting and home skills with the WI (Women’s Institute). BYHP assisted in watching the boys whilst I used the office phone to liaise with my support groups and tax credits. We lived off crisis loans for 2 months before the tax credits started. Nappies are not cheap and I needed formula due to my inability to produce essential milk.
As many will know, here at BYHP we are passionate about supporting young people into a better life, which often means helping them towards gaining employment, education or training. But as this week is World Autism Awareness Week, we have done a little research and it may come as a shock to realise- according to Autism.org.uk- that only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment.
This can come as terrible news, because autistic people (or ‘Aspies’ as they sometimes like to be known!) have so many things to offer- just because they may face many challenges that can make it harder to adapt to a workplace that is geared towards non-autistics, doesn’t mean that they don’t come equipped with many skills that could be hugely beneficial to any organisation. In fact, you could say that the world at large is missing out by failing to harness the talents of Aspies.
We know that some of the things that can be most problematic for many of those on the autistic spectrum in regards to employment, can be issues of sensory overload (fluorescent lighting and co-worker noise), difficulty in interpreting social cues, and a general lack of understanding or awareness about autism and an inability to adapt the workplace from employers and co-workers. But we also know that the right support and understanding can make all the difference.
At BYHP we don’t see autism as a ‘problem’ or ‘disease’ that should prevent a young person from leading a full-filling and independent life. However, we do not currently have any services that are specifically tailored to helping young people on the autistic spectrum into work, and we feel that we could benefit greatly by increasing our own understanding.
So we would like to ask, if you are autistic yourself or know someone who is, to share your stories, or give us feedback about of some of the particular challenges that you face and what strategies may be useful in helping someone adapt to employment. We look forward to hearing from you!
The week commencing 20th March has been designated as #CommunitiesWeek and during this week we at BYHP wanted to announce that we applied for, and have been successful in receiving, £2100 of Big Lottery Fund funding as part of their Celebrate programme to fund the third BYHP Community Big Lunch, which will take place on Sunday 2nd July 2017.
Before yesterday’s events in central London this blog would simply have been about that - very locally focused on Banbury - but following those events we want to give out a message that in fact this week is the time to be even more open and more community focused to show that yesterday's events are extra-ordinary and not the “new norm”. Now is the time to strengthen our communities and to share and learn, to break down barriers and to build resilient communities.
BYHP is part of the Brighter Futures Initiative in Banbury and we are committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of local people and helping drive community cohesion.
Since 2015 we have held "The Big Lunch", in September 2015 and in 2016 on 2nd July. Here you can see all about last year’s event.
BYHP's objective is to engage with all local residents equally and we really want as many of our partner organisations in the community to be involved, not only on the day but in the months leading up to the event, both defining what elements there will be and organising the activities.
So, we are publicly announcing this event to start making local people aware but also to ensure that our partners know that we want them to be part of a wonderful celebration of community collaboration which will result in a free event for local people, all funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
One extra element of the event is that we hope to include some of BYHP’s young clients in the organisation of the event as part of them learning about event management through BYHP’s newly re-defined Employability Service.
Whilst the details are still to be confirmed, the BYHP Community Big Lunch 2017 will no doubt include, fun, food, music, crafts, games and activities for all of the family.
We have had 100-150 attendees at the last two events and we would love to think that with other community groups working with us all the way through and also helping spread the word about the event, we should be able to see attendee numbers grow, thus enabling more of the local community to spend time together and to bond over a free shared lunch.
So in a week which started celebrating the richness and importance of community across the UK but which included a terrible act which may be used by some to cause division and distrust amongst some members of our community, we are even more delighted to be able to announce this funding and to say that we are going to have a #BigCelebration of community and that #WeAreNotAfraid and that community makes us more resilient and safer if we work together and celebrate together.
If you would like to know more about the event please keep an eye on our Events Schedule and if you wish to help organise it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
#CommunitiesWeek17 #CommunitiesWeek #thebiglunch
Opening up the fridge door to reveal an Aladdin’s Cave of edible wonders (often a clandestine trip to the kitchen after midnight) is something that most of us take for granted, perhaps even begrudgingly, as our waistlines appear to be ever expanding. However banal it seems for us, this is certainly not the daily routine for many people living today.
During Nutrition and Hydration Week, it seems apt to point out that for thousands - if not millions- of people in the UK-a full fridge of fresh food is something that is conjured in one place only: dreams. Not having access to nutritionally-good food as the cost of living continues to rise is a problem that affects the most vulnerable of us in society, and can have serious effects on both physical and psychological health. According to the Mental Health Foundation, diet can have a surprising impact on the development, management and prevention of many mental health issues including depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. And all this is not to mention the stress involved when a person is unsure of how to get the most basic of provisions stretch a week.
It’s a problem that the Nutrition and Hydration Week is trying to draw attention to, locally, nationally and globally; having decent access to proper nutrition and hydration is fundamental to maintaining the well-being of any community. It is also something that dedicated local charity Banbury Food for Charities helps address.
Last Thursday, Banbury Food for Charities came to BYHP to launch their new book- a cookbook full of recipes designed to help people with basic cookery knowledge prepare meals from the fresh surplus food the charity collects from contributors such as Aldi, Sainsburys, Morrisons and M&S, and delivers to charities that either cook for vulnerable clients or distribute food parcels.
If you’ve ever lived on a low budget or have needed to visit a food bank in order to last the week, knowing what to cook with a limited range of pantry items and an odd mixture of ingredients can leave you stumped (think four bags of slightly limp carrots and a lone sausage). The Surplus Food Cookbook aims to give people a good starting point for ideas. And will be incredibly useful for many of our young people that come to us in need of our food bank.
As fresh food often presents many difficulties for food banks due to their perishable nature and storage problems, we are fortunate to be a partner charity with Banbury Food for Charities. Their weekly deliveries to us mean that we are able to offer a variety of goods to our young people, helping them to have a more diverse diet. We also occasionally receive bottles of water, which again with this week's focus on adequate hydration, can prove to be life-saving for a person sleeping rough. The re-useable nature of the bottles allows them to be refilled and saved for later when access to water-points may be difficult, often during the night.
When we talk about improving our own diets, drinking more water and trying to munch our way through all the portions of fruit and veg we're supposed to, we mustn't forget how hard it is for certain sections of society to even contemplate this due to financial hardship alone. But we should also remember that as a community, we can make big strides in ensuring that everyone has access to good nutrition and hydration.
During 2016, BYHP was truly blessed to receive lots of kind financial donations from various people who had raised funds for us by doing a number of activities.
However, many donations came out of the blue and whilst wonderful, we thought it would be nice to be more aware of the kind people who are working on fundraising events, activities and campaigns in aid of BYHP. We wanted to create a programme that could involve all of the fundraisers working together towards a common goal and would inspire everyone to talk about it on social media and around the town.
So, to challenge ourselves, Tim our CEO devised the “BYHP 100 in 2017 Fundraising Challenge” which consists of us identifying and recruiting 100 different individuals, organisations, groups and businesses to help us generate up to £50,000 in fundraising income, approximately 20% of BYHP’s total annual income.
Effectively, we want to build a community of fundraisers who we can promote/ spotlight in our communications, in the press and on BYHP’s website to publicly showcase the amazing fundraising which goes on.
We have created a specific new logo and campaign pack which we hope will answer all of your questions and we have certificates for everyone taking part and raising funds for BYHP. We also hope to add other elements to the programme as we go through the year, which will in fact end on 31st March 2018 as we are realigning our events and fundraising year to BYHP’s financial year rather than the calendar year.
You’ll see the logo has a brick background as it represents BYHP’s focus on housing, but also represents a challenge to overcome or an obstacle to break through and this is certainly a breakthrough challenge to go for £50k in one year.
So, we hope you will join us and help BYHP achieve the £50,000 target!
It’s good to talk. That’s what National Conversation Week is trying to get us to talk about. In a world full of emails, tweets and mobile phone screens it sometimes feels that the old art of sitting down with family or friends and having a chat face to face is slowly being lost. Nothing compares in life to having a connection with somebody in the flesh, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest that the more we talk to the people around us, even a brief conversation with the postman, the better it is for our physical and emotional well-being. (Your Phone Vs. Your Heart- The New York Times) Too many people in modern life feel trapped and isolated, regardless of how many Facebook friends they have. As Jung reflected, "Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible".
Having the time to reach out to other people, whether it’s over a friendly meal or a sit down for a good heart to heart can be essential in helping us to feel more connected to each other and the world. It also gives us meaningful opportunities to share our thoughts and feelings and to listen to others.
At BYHP, we know how important it is for our young people to feel they have someone they can talk to. Sitting down with one of our counsellors is often a vital opportunity for our young people to share their thoughts, feelings and worries in a safe setting and to feel that someone is listening. Our family mediation services also aims to help bring families together, to get talking, finding ways of managing conflicts and working towards resolutions that are beneficial for everyone.
If you feel you or someone you know could benefit from some support, please contact us for more information or to book an appointment with one of our counsellors or family mediators.
01295 259 442
2 Chandos Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4TL
Today is Self-Injury Awareness Day, an international event that has been running for 17 years, which aims to raise awareness and educate on self-injury (also known as self-harm). Through this it hopes to develop understanding and empathy from those who do not self-harm as well as reaching out in support to those that do.
The issue of self-injury, however, is something that needs to be addressed all-year-round, not just for one day. As the below article expresses, simply raising awareness is also not enough. More has to be done to help support those that suffer, starting with acknowledging the stresses and strains of life that may lead to self-harm. Being able to open up and talk to those around us, finding support as well as reaching out for alternative coping strategies, is important for us all, not just those that self-injure.
Here at BYHP we offer many services to our young people, including counselling, allowing our young people to share their worries in a safe and confidential setting without judgement, as well as giving them an opportunity to find solutions to their problems for themselves. Having somewhere to talk and feel listened to helps many people experience a sense of relief as well as helping them to find ways to lead a more fulfilling life. #SIAD
Today Is Self-Injury Awareness Day and It’s Not Enough- HuffingtonPost
“to advocate” – verb
Last night, BYHP held its 3rd Advocate Network Meeting with BYHP staff, Trustees, Volunteers and Young People welcoming a number of local supporters and interested parties to hear about BYHP, our activities in 2016 and plans for 2017.
We were very kindly hosted by the XPO team at The Entertainer Distribution Centre in Noral Way – our thanks go to The Entertainer MD Gary Grant, Logistics Director Steve Williams and XPO Site Manager Ket Pancholi. Thanks also to Cathi at The Old Town Café in Parsons Street, Banbury, a BYHP supporter, who supplied a wonderful buffet for all of the attendees to enjoy.
Not only was it an opportunity to update everyone about BYHP we also had two very important things to do, firstly announce BYHP’s Young Person of the Year, Vincent North and secondly to hear from, thank and welcome home the amazing Šárka Naivertová, Managing Director of Distinct Estate Agents, based at Bloxham Mill, who has recently completed a climb of Kilimanjaro in aid of BYHP, raising over £7300 in the process.
Vincent received his trophy and certificate from the out-going holder from 2015, Luke Merriman and gave a wonderfully inspirational presentation about his journey into full time employment with Marks & Spencer.
Despite a number of challenges in his life, Vincent has always had a never-give-up attitude and part of his presentation explained this.
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.