It is really great that the issue of mental health is getting major coverage in the media and is being championed by the young royals, as we need to keep talking about mental illness to remove the stigma, embarrassment and fear which is often attached to it.
Let's be clear, there is no difference between having a mental illness and having a broken limb, cancer, diabetes or heart failure - all of these are conditions suffered by human beings and any of us could suffer from them at any time - we all need to understand that.
So, let's keep talking about mental illness - in fact, if you take the I from mental illness and add WE you get mental wellness and that is what it is all about.
We see mental health issues at BYHP and we are committed to providing support via counselling and person-centric support so that young people can get help as soon as possible. We'll be applying for specialist funding to support this service as demand grows.
If you feel that you need some support please contact us on email@example.com or via www.byhp.org.uk/services-referral-form.html
Here is The Duke of Cambridge talking at an event with the The Guild Of Health Writers about mental health issues. #HeadsTogether
23rd to 27th January is Family Mediation Week and to mark this important awareness raising week, BYHP’s Service Delivery Manager and lead Family Mediator, Deb Parker, talks about the importance of BYHP’s Family Mediation Service as part of the Homeless Prevention work BYHP undertakes.
To better understand the issue, here is a video from Centrepoint, an organisation BYHP is a partner of, which deals with leaving home.
“Family Mediation plays a vital role in helping young people to stay safely at home. When relationships with parents and young people begin to suffer, it is often seen as the only solution to tell the younger person who is perceived as the ‘troublemaker’ to leave the family home. This results in families left with feelings of guilt and unhappiness, affecting everyone in the family including siblings. Provided the home is a safe place, there is nowhere better for the vast majority of young people than to have the security of home and a parent figure in their lives.
Coping with teenagers can often be challenging and for parents who are facing other challenges too such as social isolation, deprivation, unemployment, mental health difficulties, a teenager who is rebelling is just one thing too much to cope with and it seems the easier option for them to go.
We know as Family Mediators that it is often a perception that the young person is the troubled one and the one to blame but the reality is that the whole family play a part in this, including absent parents who are still important to the young person. We can work holistically with young people up to the age of 25 to help them find their path whether it be back to education, apprenticeship or employment.
Families that turn to us for support often have a breakdown of communication and by working with parents and their children separately to begin with, we can prepare the way for a family mediation session where we all sit around the table and everyone is listened to and listens, safely. Most families really want to repair their relationships and keep their child safely off the streets where they can be vulnerable, lonely and more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs without a significant person in their life to care for them and give them guidance. Mental health difficulties arise when someone is homeless, anxiety about where they are going to sleep that night, depression when everything seems hopeless and feelings of isolation, lack of self-worth, all prevail.
This week is Family Mediation week, please continue to support us at BYHP in order that we can continue to strengthen family relationships and keep our young people safe.”
If you feel you or someone you know could benefit from BYHP’s support, please contact us for more information or to book an appointment with one of our mediators.
01295 259 442
2 Chandos Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4TL
Service Delivery Manager
Registered Member MBACP (Accred)
Set up by the government, Local Charities Day brings a spotlight to the vital work that small and local charities do, as well as community groups. It’s supported by Local Giving with their #GiveMe5 campaign which will run today, midnight to midnight, where each £5 donated will be placed into a draw to be doubled by an extra £5 match-fundraising.
We recognise that we often talk about funding on the BYHP social media channels as whilst we are well known and have worked closely with the local community for many years, we have to start from scratch every financial year to find enough money to continue the crucially important work we do so we need to constantly raise funds from many sources. We hope that over time we can change that, but it will take us time to change how we are funded.
Local Giving have recently done some research which shows that BYHP as a small, local charity is not alone in having an important local impact but having many challenges in finding the funding to do the work we do.
The link to their full report is below but the infographic shows similar issues across the country.
We want to be able to help as many young people across North Oxfordshire as we can as the demand is clearly there. We have exciting new projects launching in the area of Employability and we hope to help lots of young people get the confidence and skills they need to get employment or further training.
So please keep up to date with our news and please if you can, continue to support us in whatever way you are able in 2017.
Have a safe and Happy Christmas and we look forward to working with the local community even more in 2017.
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
Grow Your Tenner is Now Live
Local Giving are now matching one-time donations by up to £10 and monthly donations up to £10 a month for the first 3 months.
BYHP has the opportunity to claim up to £2500 of match funding.
Grow Your Tenner kicked off today at 10:00am and will end on 17th November at 5:00pm. However, there is only so much in the pot so when the funds run out the campaign ends.
If you were thinking of donating to BYHP in the next few weeks or even for Christmas don't delay and double your support by donating £10 now.
At BYHP we work with hundreds of young people each year who have been thrust into that world very early and are completely unprepared. They are also forced to face additional challenges like family breakdown, homelessness or mental health problems.
These young people must face their challenges head on every day, often with very different fears to those that most of us experience.
We have at least two young people who have a fear of public transport; it is the fear of the unknown, of being on a bus or train and not sure where they have to alight, fearful of other passengers and crowds.
These fears can incapacitate someone who is already suffering from low self-esteem and lacking in confidence; without long-term, on-going support it can be almost impossible to move on.
Another challenge for a young and homeless person is simply raising deposits for private rented accommodation and finding and speaking to landlords who are willing to accept housing benefit recipients as tenants.
BYHP offers an employability programme called “Unlocking Potential” which takes young people aged 16 to 25 (classified as “NEETs” - Not in Education, Employment or Training) with limited opportunities, aspirations and education and helps them discover a passion for learning and self-development which mostly results in employment, training or further learning opportunities.
By working with these young people we have discovered that they often have fears which prevent them moving forward. Their personal struggles are often with confidence, fear of attending a job interview, using public transport, of speaking in public; all of which can provoke great anxiety.
To try to get people to understand the sort of fears our young people face day in day out and in order to raise funds to help these young people overcome those fears, BYHP is challenging its supporters to come forward and “Face Your Fears for BYHP” gaining sponsorship to confront their own particular fears.
I was reminded last week of the importance for us all to be just that little bit kinder to one another. I was attending a Dementia Friends awareness session, aimed at changing people’s perception of this condition and they emphasised how important it is to be kind. Imagine the scenario for an elderly person, perhaps struggling at the till to find her purse to pay for groceries with a queue behind her.
It could just as easily be a young person with mental health difficulties, struggling with anxiety, wishing they were invisible. Today we rush around, we are leading busy lives and try to cram as much into a day as we can, always in a hurry; let us all just take a moment and be aware of those who are vulnerable, young and old, and reach out a hand of kindness, not just today but every day.
The major cause of youth homelessness continues to be a result of the breakdown in family relationships with either parents or step-parents. Sometimes it is hard to decide which came first; did the mental ill health such as depression or anxiety come first, leading to confrontation and arguments at home or did it come as a result of long term issues at home. Either way, the number is on the increase and here at BYHP, we work to try to repair broken relationships and keep young people safely housed. Accommodation does not just act as a roof over someone’s head; it also provides a range of other benefits such as social inclusion, potential for employment and security. We have a professional team of Counsellors and Family Mediators who support young people and their families, supporting them with accessing mental health services when they most need someone to turn to.
Everyone deserves a safe and stable place to live; being homeless can mean sleeping on the streets, sleeping on other people’s sofas or floors, or staying in places that are unsafe. It means not knowing where you are going to rest your head from one day to the next, feeling vulnerable and not in control of your own life.
Statistically (Crisis 2012), at the ages of 16-24, homeless people are at least twice as likely to die as their housed contemporaries with an average life expectancy which doesn’t reach beyond 47. It is of no surprise to realise that life as a homeless person will create mental disease as life is a continual struggle with no safety net to fall back on and no social network to ask for support; the forgotten and invisible homeless.
If you or someone you know could benefit from BYHP’s help please contact us for more information.
01295 259 442
2 Chandos Close
Linking into 2016’s Housing Day www.housingday.co.uk – 19th September – BYHP Housing Advice Officer Justin Donovan blogs about how BYHP works with young people in and around North Oxfordshire.
#HousingDay is a national 24 hour social media event to celebrate the positive impact of social housing on thousands of tenants and those working in UK housing. Now in its fourth year, it’s become a regular part of the calendar.
What does BYHP do?
Via BYHP’s Housing & Homelessness Advice Service www.byhp.org.uk/housing-advice.html we support young people in finding and maintaining accommodation, which can be difficult given the challenges that are faced when trying to access affordable housing in the Banbury area.
However, young people do manage to access private rented accommodation at times which often results in us supporting them with understanding tenancies, learning how to live independently and everything else that they need to know when it comes to successfully living on their own.
Private tenancies often do not go as planned and that is where we play a key role in making sure that disputes are resolved properly to prevent any negative outcome for the young tenant, such as having to leave the property.
What happens if a young person cannot find private rented accommodation?
BYHP then works very closely with other organisations and in partnership with the local authority, Cherwell District Council, to make sure the young person finds some form of accommodation whether that is supported accommodation or hostel provision.
We also support the young people with various other issues and when necessary refer onto other support agencies if we cannot provide a specific type of support.
Finally, it is not just homelessness that we focus on and are able to offer professional support and guidance to young people who fall into the NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training) category. After all, a secure home assists in being able to concentrate on going from NEET into Education, Employment and Training.
Our success in supporting young people back into employment, education or training is predominantly achieved through our employment programme “Unlocking Potential”. www.byhp.org.uk/unlocking-potential.html
How BYHP works with local housing associations and how young people link to them:
There are a number of housing associations across Oxfordshire that we come into contact with from time to time when supporting their tenants. In this type of cases our work is usually focused around a certain issue that the person may be facing which is having a negative impact on their tenancy.
We have found that working in conjunction with the housing association has always been a positive and successful way of getting the best possible outcome for the tenant and that working collaboratively with housing associations is the best way of helping to stabilise a tenant’s accommodation.
In order for people to access social housing in Oxfordshire they must firstly have a housing need in order for them to qualify for the housing register. Due to high demand for social housing the local authorities created registers that are designed to help make sure that the right people are accessing the right tenancies.
In our experience of working with local housing associations we have found that social tenancies can be the best type of tenancy for many people within the community as it gives people a higher security of tenure than private tenancies can offer.
Social housing also provides affordable accommodation for those that are less fortunate when it comes to finance meaning that they too can afford to create a lovely home for themselves and their loved ones.
BYHP will continue to offer support and advice to young people in North Oxfordshire and will continue to build relationships with all types of accommodation providers and landlords in order to provide guidance, information and help to those trying to obtain affordable housing.
If you or someone you know needs such help contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01295 259442 or visit BYHP at 2 Chandos Close, Banbury, 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.