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 !
As BYHP’s final blog for #MHAW16, which has been focused on Relationships, we want to link to an event which we at BYHP are holding on 2nd July, the BYHP Community Big Lunch.
The Mental Health Foundation has produced this animated film stressing the importance on community on our collective wellbeing
Recent research from the Eden Project initiative The Big Lunch with Oxford University showed just how the problem in the UK has become with people increasingly eating alone.
Read the Telegraph Article by clicking the picture below or visiting:
So, for the second year running, the BYHP team is inviting the whole community to join us on Saturday 2nd July at 2 Chandos Close, Banbury, OX16 4TL and to bring a dish from around the world to share with everyone else so we can get together and generate some “human warming” over a shared lunch.
For more information see our event on facebook:
If you are Banbury-based and would like to hold your own Big Lunch – see this facebook group which offers support, ideas and inspiration.
To see everything there is to know about The Big Lunch, check out
We hope to see you between 12 and 5pm on Saturday 2nd July.
Let’s Do Lunch!
Homelessness and mental health often go hand in hand and many people unfortunately suffer the loss of accommodation as a result of their mental health problems.
When a mental health problem becomes beyond a person’s control so too does the ability to sustain an ordinary life. This is when the important things such as employment, relationships and finances become increasingly difficult to maintain, usually resulting in eviction.
For somebody who is already suffering with their mental health, homelessness can have an even more catastrophic consequence. Studies suggest that homeless people are over 9 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Studies have also highlighted that the average age of death of a homeless male is just 47 years old and even lower for homeless women at just 43, compared to 77 for the general population.
Many homeless people turn to substance abuse as a way of coping with the harsh realities that homelessness brings which can be detrimental to a person’s already very fragile mental health state.
It is a stark fact that drugs and alcohol are major causes of death amongst homeless people.
The links between drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness are well established and Four out of five people start using at least one new drug since becoming homeless.
Unfortunately, the majority of Homeless people who suffer with mental health problems find it incredibly difficult to access mental health services and are usually placed on lengthy waiting lists for nothing more than over the phone talking therapies.
The following video link “Not Just Homeless” gives an insight into life on the streets and the difficulties people face when they find themselves in that situation.
Presentation to Banbury Samaritans 19th May 2016
So I've been thinking for some time about what I was going to talk about this evening and right up until today I still wasn't sure.
However, whilst as the Head of Business of a charity called Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP), I really should be talking about it, making you aware what we do and how we make a difference, I really actually want to tell you all about relationships and the importance of good relationships in all of our lives.
This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the key subject within the week is relationships. The Mental Health Foundation has produced a new report which calls relationships the “forgotten foundation of mental health and wellbeing”.https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/relationships-21st-century-forgotten-foundation-mental-health-and-wellbeing
As the boss of a local charity and a small charity at that, I understood when I joined about how important having good external relationships and being connected to our local community and working with others is.
Unfortunately as a young person’s charity offering a range of services, trying to support 200 to 300 young people a year with a team of four full-time employees and three part time employees, six trustees and about 15 to 20 other volunteers, you cannot always get everything done that you need to get done.
Therefore, building strong relationships and working with external groups is essential and something we at BYHP work hard to do every day, hence why I agreed to speak here this evening.
Whilst we as a society are increasingly connected, it is becoming ever more apparent that an increasing number of us in society are isolated, lonely and lacking the support of family, friends, neighbours and social (and by social I mean physically social) networks.
As small children, our initial relationships are normally built by bonding with one's mother and father and extended family unit.
As we grow we become part of a playgroup, preschool or kindergarten and start to meet other children, make friendships, understand how interacting with others, sharing and collaborating are normal parts of life.
In our family lives, we learn how to manage living in the same space, working to rules imposed by the family unit, and getting to know each person's characteristics so that we know how each person will react in certain circumstances and building personal confidence and resilience by drawing from the support of that family unit.
Then we move onto school and potentially college or university and then into jobs - all along this journey we meet new people, find those who we are compatible with or share things in common, in order to build interpersonal relationships, links with those who we can share happy and sad times, good times and really difficult ones with.
Life isn’t always easy but that is the benefit of the crucial support network that life presents to help us cope with the vagaries of being human.
The Mental Health Foundation which promotes good mental health and who instigated #MHAW16 has produced a new report which calls relationships the “forgotten foundation of wellbeing”:
Writer and Political Economist Will Hutton also put it well in an article for the Guardian: ‘We are social beings, and the building blocks of happiness lie in looking out for each other, acting together, being in teams and pursuing common goals for the common good’.
Not only are these connections important for us as individuals; they are important for us as a society, as they promote cohesiveness and a sense of community. Many of the pressures we face today like exams, work stress and financial worries undermine our sense of wellbeing. Young people, especially, are under stress because of the competitive climate we have in schools and in the employment market and because of the shortage of affordable housing.
But a phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear that can affect anyone. These fears can have an incapacitating effect on someone and have a detrimental effect on their life and mental health, something which was featured on Radio 2 recently.
Not only is the experience itself horrid and terrifying, but it can make you feel out of control and overwhelmed leading to stress, anxiety and depression.
Many people with phobias will go out of their way to avoid a situation where they might have to face their fear. This avoidance technique, which at first seems effective, can significantly impact how they live their life.
Social Phobia, which covers a range of fears, can be a specific situation like public speaking right along the scale to completely withdrawing from any social contact. BYHP works with a number of young people suffering with Social Phobia conditions like travelling on public transport, communicating in large groups and attending a job interview.
As reported in the Observer on Sunday, a survey of 300 GPs in England has said that care for children with mental health problems is ‘woefully inadequate’.
Young people with anxiety and depression are missing out on treatment because there is rationing of care and they are not considered to be priorities. Even young people who are self-harming sometimes have to wait months to be seen ‘with risks to their health and well-being’ (Norman Lamb Mental Health Minister in the Coalition Government).
This is at a time when more young people are experiencing mental health problems as a result of family breakdown, increased pressure in schools and worries about the cost of higher education. According to the survey conducted by the charity Stem4, one GP said that ‘young mental health problems are a time bomb waiting to explode.’
Here at BYHP we are aware of the pressures faced by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) with increased demand and consequent longer waiting times. NHS England has promised an extra £1.4 billion nationally to support Mental Health Services for young people, but this will take some time to feed through. We have 2 qualified Counsellors and one Trainee Counsellor here at BYHP and at present we see 8 clients aged between 13 and 25 years.
We are currently developing our service and can receive referrals from schools, Social Care, CAMHS and from young people themselves and their families.
If you feel you or someone you know could benefit from a trained counsellor’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 - Wellbeing Practitioner
Mental Health Awareness Week is with us again; does it feel like a year since we had the last one? What difference has it made to you, has it raised your awareness and sustained your awareness or did it come and go?
Reading moving stories of those who are brave enough to share their personal struggles with ill health can be very moving and yet, what impact does it have on society when we still hear of the stigma surrounding mental health.
I was wondering what to blog about to mark the occasion next week and I read an article on the Mental Health Foundation website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ which is setting a challenge.
How good are your relationships? Can you improve them? They are asking everyone to prioritise their relationships and make a relationship resolution.
Could you invest more time in being with friends, family and colleagues and listening to them, actively committing to building good relationships?
Try it and see and then see if you can keep it going all year; Mental Health Awareness should be with us all year not just for one week, after all, we all live with our own physical and mental health even if we are not thinking of it.
Let us actively support someone who we know needs a helping hand; one person, one gesture, is sometimes all it takes to make a difference. #MHAW16
Hi, hope you are all having a good week after the Bank Holiday weekend.
Just wanted to share something with you - we support between 200 to 300 young people and their families a year and we do that on between £200k and £300k income per year (both numbers vary based on which year but it is pretty consistent).
That means our service costs a little less than £1000 for every young person we support.
We help them remain in a safe home family situation;
We help them work through various problems with 1:1 support and counselling;
We help them navigate through the complexities of housing registers, benefits systems and tenancy agreements;
We give them confidence and hope to move forward in their working lives and...
We provide a surrogate family home to those who don't have one.
£1000 to change a young life - not much is it?
Please keep spreading the word about BYHP - your support is priceless to us but we need funds urgently to continue our work.
BYHP - Hope....not just homelessness
Please help BYHP by texting BYHP01 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 or by visiting https://localgiving.com/charity/byhp
(Photo: Four Shires Magazine)
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.